Task Force: Feedback Mixed on ONC’s Interoperability Advisory

July 1, 2015 in News

Stakeholder feedback on the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT’s interoperability standards advisory appears to lack consistency, according to a Health IT Standards Committee task force, FierceEMR reports (Durben Hirsch, FierceEMR, 6/30).


In January,¬†ONC released¬†a 2015 interoperability standards advisory, which reflects “ONC’s assessment of the best available standards and implementation specifications for clinical health information interoperability as of December 2014″ (iHealthBeat, 5/5).

The advisory is not binding and aims to provide a single, public list of data sharing standards and implementation specifications (FierceEMR, 6/30).

ONC officials said an updated advisory will be released annually every December. ONC accepted comments on the 2015 advisory through May 1 (iHealthBeat, 5/5).

Task Force Meeting Details

During a meeting on Monday, the Interoperability Standards Advisory Task Force reported the advisory had received 59 comments. The task force said:

  • 32 comments were supportive;
  • 19 comments were neutral; and
  • 8 comments were unsupportive.

Overall, commenters expressed a desire for strong security and privacy standards, according to FierceEMR. However, there were no consistent suggestions for what those standards should look like or how they would be used. For example:

  • 17 commenters provided different suggestions on what standards should be included; and
  • 23 commenters wanted to expand the scope of the advisory but disagreed as to what the advisory’s new purpose should be.

The Interoperability Standards Advisory Task Force is expected to make its recommendations to ONC later this summer, which ONC then will use to update the advisory and seek additional public comment (FierceEMR, 6/30).

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