eHealth Initiative’s 2020 Roadmap Identifies Three Priorities

November 14, 2014 in News

On Thursday, the eHealth Initiative released an initial set of priorities for its 2020 Roadmap for transforming the health care industry through data exchange and health IT, Health Data Management reports (Slabodkin, Health Data Management, 11/14).


The project aims to examine how the health care industry has changed since the passage of the HITECH Act, which bolstered health IT and spurred health information exchange, and the Affordable Care Act, which altered payment and delivery models (iHealthBeat, 3/27).

Report Details

The report included input from more than 150 companies and 250 individuals who over the last six months have contributed ideas through:

  • Surveys;
  • Roundtables;
  • Webinars; and
  • Workgroups.

eHI CEO Jennifer Covich Bordenick said the roadmap is “not a set of answers” to solving problems with interoperability, but rather is “a framework for discussion about core technology issues.”

The roadmap focuses on three areas:

  • Business and clinical motivators;
  • Data access and use; and
  • Interoperability (Health Data Management, 11/14).

Report Details

The 24-page document details eHI’s vision for each focus area, as well as:

  • Short-term goals;
  • Mid-term goals;
  • Long-term goals; and
  • Federal policy change priorities (eHI 2020 Roadmap, 11/13).

According to the report, appropriate data access and use should:

  • Be adopted with policies and business rules that encourage trust among new technologies;
  • Ensure that consumers view and trust health information exchange as a “critical component of high-quality, safe and efficient health care”;
  • Monitor compliance with data breach policies and be transparent with those affected if a breach occurs;
  • Protect the integrity, security and confidentiality of information stored or transmitted by organizations through internal policies and procedures; and
  • Strengthen consumer confidence that their personal health information is “private, secure and used with their consent in appropriate, beneficial ways”.

For achieving interoperability, eHI recommends:

  • Reaching an industry-wide consensus on a framework for measuring and tracking interoperability levels;
  • Ensuring that health data flow “directly enables the most comprehensive, patient-centered, safe, efficient, effective, timely and equitable delivery of care” where and when it is needed most; and
  • Using information to enhance consumers’ health care experiences, reduce disparities, measure outcomes, provide better value, improve population health, bolster public health surveillance, assist with further evolving care standards and inform research into new treatments.

To help align business and clinical motivators, the report recommends:

  • Balancing regulatory oversight and innovation;
  • Offering “meaningful” incentives to boost consumer engagement supported by information and technology;
  • Providing financial incentives to deliver safe and efficient care with better outcomes; and
  • Providing incentives to standardize data collection and information exchange throughout the industry (Versel, Healthcare IT News, 11/14).

In addition, the roadmap calls for more time between the transition from Stage 2 to Stage 3 of the meaningful use program.

Under the 2009 federal economic stimulus package, health care providers who demonstrate meaningful use of certified electronic health record systems can qualify for Medicaid and Medicare incentive payments (Bowman, FierceHealthIT, 11/13).

Because consensus was not reached on some areas, eHI plans to release further findings in the spring of 2015, according to Covich Bordenick.

She added that eHI plans to work with the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT as it finalizes its own interoperability roadmap.

Covich Bordenick said, “We will work with (ONC) as they map out their roadmap for the public sector. Our intention is to marry those two efforts at some point next year” (Health Data Management, 11/14).

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