ONC Launches Website To Collect Input on Interoperability Plan

August 8, 2014 in News

On Wednesday, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT rolled out a new tool designed to help the agency collect public input on an interoperability roadmap designed to complement ONC’s 10-year plan, Health Data Management reports (Slabodkin, Health Data Management, 8/7).

Background

In June, ONC released a paper outlining a 10-year plan to achieve an interoperable health IT infrastructure in an effort to reduce costs while improving population health and patient engagement.

The paper — titled “Connecting Health and Care for the Nation: a 10-Year Vision to Achieve an Interoperable Health IT Infrastructure” — outlines goals the agency hopes to achieve over a three-, six- and 10-year time period.

Within three years, the agency expects to have:

  • Developed a nationwide interoperability roadmap based on current health information exchange approaches; and
  • Leveraged technologies that promote query-based data exchange and point-to-point data sharing.

Within six years, the agency expects to have:

  • “Enhanced interoperability” to allow health care providers from various settings — including schools and prisons — to share patient data; and
  • Integrate currently disparate information sources, such as multi-payer claims databases and clinical data registries, into the health care delivery system.

By 2024, the agency said it expects patients to be able to use their own personal electronic devices to:

  • Manage their data; and
  • Share their data across various platforms with multiple providers¬†(iHealthBeat, 6/5).

ONC Tool

On Wednesday, National Coordinator for Health IT Karen DeSalvo and Erica Galvez, ONC’s interoperability and exchange portfolio manager, launched a website — called the interoperability community — to solicit input on an interoperability roadmap, which they say will serve as a companion document to the June paper.

According to a blog post, ONC aims for the roadmap to act as a “living document” that will be updated by stakeholder feedback on a regular basis.

Specifically, ONC will:

  • Create a draft roadmap by incorporating stakeholder comments, which are due by Sept. 12;
  • Present the draft roadmap to ONC’s federal advisory committees in October for assessment and feedback; and
  • Publish an updated roadmap with Incorporate committee members’ feedback and publish an updated roadmap in early 2015 for public comment (Health Data Management, 8/7).

Health IT Policy Meeting

Members of ONC’s Health IT Policy Committee on Wednesday voiced concerns about the plan, including questions about whether the proposal was too expansive or and whether interoperability was correctly defined, Government Health IT reports (Sullivan, Government Health IT, 8/6).

Paul Egerman, former CEO of eScription and committee a member of the Policy Committee, said, “What [ONC is] trying to do here with interoperability is a very, very hard issue, especially if you define it broadly.” He said that “layering” individuals’ access to data onto the interoperability goals could “mak[e] this [project] harder than we need to make it.”

Meanwhile, Marc Probst, committee member and CIO at Intermountain Healthcare, said, “It seems to me that things like empowering individuals or maintaining modularity or focusing on value — those are how we would use interoperability, if we had it. If we could focus first on getting interoperability, I don’t know that we have to burden this roadmap with empowering individuals” (Bowman, FierceHealthIT, 8/6). ¬†

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