ONC publishes interoperability roadmap comments

May 18, 2015 in Medical Technology

The Office of the National Coordinator has shared the reams of public feedback it’s received in response to the first draft of its Shared Nationwide Interoperability Roadmap. Opinion ranges from enthusiastic support to flat opposition, as stakeholders and members of the public weigh in with their perspectives on technical specifications, provider impact, privacy concerns and more.

A month or so after the roadmap was first released in January, ONC shared statements of support for the initiative from industry and goverment groups such as HIMSS, CHIME, the Department of Defense, American Academy of Family Physicians and more.

[See also: Key takeaways from ONC's interoperability roadmap]

The public comment period closed April 3, and on Friday ONC published the voluminous input it’s gotten from providers, vendors, HIEs, state health organizations, advocacy groups, members of the public and more.

Here’s a tiny, random sampling of what some of those folks had to say about the interoperability roadmap:

[See also: HIE Roadmap comments generally positive: ONC]

Joe Wivoda

Chief Information Officer

National Rural HIT Coalition,  National Rural Health Resource Center

“The National Rural HIT Coalition supports the ONC Interoperability Roadmap. Rural healthcare providers have unique challenges that are directly impacted by improved EHR interoperability. These challenges include limited HIT workforce, geographically broad referral networks and a shortage of primary care and other providers. Rural communities will likely benefit more than urban from supporting and developing models for interoperability across the care continuum.

Teresa Lee

Executive Director

Alliance for Home Health Quality and Innovation

The Alliance supports the direction of, and sentiment behind, the roadmap, and commends the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT’s efforts in focusing attention on the need for national interoperability in health information technology. With the roadmap, ONC is demonstrating an interest in moving forward the discussion of interoperability as a central component of a more efficient and cost-effective healthcare delivery system. As noted previously, the idea of a shared Nationwide Interoperability Roadmap is critical to providing high quality care to patients regardless of where they are treated in the continuum. Additionally, the Alliance appreciates the mention of home healthcare and long-term and post-acute care in the specific discussion of future care delivery and the move to community-based models of care delivery. The Alliance supports the work being done in the context of the SI Framework’s electronic Long-Term Services and Support initiative, and looks forward to engaging with the initiative.

Polly Mullins-Bentley

Deputy Executive Director, State Health I.T. Coordinator

Kentucky Office of Health Benefit Health Information Exchange

The actions proposed in the roadmap are the right actions to improve interoperability in the near term. Overall, the short-term actions seem appropriate to energize and increase public/private national participation in health IT interoperability. In keeping with the general industry trend of improving quality of care, engaging patients and reducing cost using health IT as a vehicle, the strategies were appropriate. Overall, the target of the short-term actions point towards enforcing behavioral changes and removing current barriers to interoperability through public-private collaborative governance, better alignment of stakeholders’ policies, standards and practices.

Michael (Mick) Talley

Director Treasurer, Co-Project Manager

Southeast Michigan Health Information Exchange

The Roadmap approach to Governance, Architecture and Infrastructure and security privacy are very good and shall require work, collaboration and testing and validation before deployment to be useful. SEMHIE agrees that solutions should be vendor neutral and the architecture should allow for the process of multiple solutions as healthcare is a rather diverse and fragmented industry.

Ilona Farr, MD


Alaska Family Medical Care?

This bill will interfere with our ability to take care of patients by putting government and insurance companies first and permitting them to stop tests after they are ordered by providers due to real time access to charts which could cause serious harm to patients. It also would create a good opportunity for cyberattacks and give way too many people access to data and information about patients violating a right to privacy. It will be extremely costly and drive up costs for everyone. Please do not implement this system!

Andrew Schlafly

General Counsel

Association of American Physicians Surgeons

We urge the government to scale back its proposals and not expand into this field. The free market can work amazingly well when allowed to do so. The market for smart phones is a shining example of how much free enterprise and technology can achieve for the public with little or no regulation by government. Likewise, systems for managing medical data are more likely to develop faster and with more efficient results in the absence of government involvement. The free market can better achieve the goals for patients and the medical community. In addition, states have proper jurisdiction over medical care and it would be an intrusion on state sovereignty for the federal government to expand into this area.

Mike Henderson

Director, Open Source Product Management

Topics: Health Information Exchange (HIE), Interoperability, Policy and Legislation, Privacy Security, Quality and Safety, Interoperability, The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME), College of Healthcare Information Management Executives, Department of Defense (DoD), American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), Electronic Health Record (EHR), Health Level 7 International (HL7), HL7

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