Recognizing that both the United States and the European Union are working to encourage more effective use of information technology in the delivery of healthcare, a group called the Transatlantic Economic Council has decided to coordinate those efforts to promote interoperability and prevent unnecessary regulatory divergences.
A March 22 announcement from the E.U. states that its Directorate General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology (DG CONNECT) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services have agreed on a roadmap to strengthen transatlantic cooperation in eHealth.
The two organizations will implement cooperative action plans for the following areas:
• Acceleration of progress toward widespread deployment of internationally recognized standards to support transnational interoperability of electronic health information and communication technology.
• Identification of approaches to increase the supply of highly proficient health IT professionals.
The roadmap builds on a memorandum of understanding on this topic signed in 2010. DG CONNECT and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) will work on a standards development action plan aimed at identifying common vocabularies, message structures and tools suitable for the international exchange of electronic health records.
The roadmap also includes an in-person, joint EU-U.S. eHealth/Health IT Cooperation Assembly during the EU's eHealth Week held in Dublin, Ireland, on May 13-15, 2013.