Health IT

ONC releases interoperability road map

The federal government shelled out more than $25 billion trying to spur the adoption of electronic health records by health providers and hospitals. The goal isn't just to translate health information into electronic format but to create a data ecosystem in which records and data are sharable and extendable across platforms and devices.

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, the agency that oversees the health IT plan, released a draft interoperability road map on Jan. 30 that gives vendors and users a look at what the government wants to see in terms of data exchange between EHR systems.

The document is not a set of regulations but instead offers what it calls "a vision to catalyze collaboration and action across government, communities and the private sector." But the health industry is on notice that the use of EHRs that meet some baseline standard for interoperability developed in consultation with stakeholders and promulgated by government could ultimately have a lot to do with the level of reimbursement providers receive from Medicare and other government payers.

"To realize better care and the vision of a learning health system, we will work together across the public and private sectors to clearly define standards, motivate their use through clear incentives, and establish trust in the health IT ecosystem through defining the rules of engagement," said Dr. Karen DeSalvo, national coordinator for health IT, in a press statement.

The document includes 10 principles for interoperability and a set of near- and long-term plans and milestones through 2020.

In the short term, ONC will facilitate efforts to establish a governance process for stakeholders, develop standards for a common clinical dataset that will serve as a basis for proprietary systems to exchange clinical health information, and define standards for transporting information across networks and sharing documents and media.

Another goal is to publish the best available standards for interoperability. A draft of that document, called the Interoperability Standards Advisory, accompanied the release of the road map.

ONC is collecting comments on the road map through April 3.

About the Author

Adam Mazmanian is executive editor of FCW.

Before joining the editing team, Mazmanian was an FCW staff writer covering Congress, government-wide technology policy and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Prior to joining FCW, Mazmanian was technology correspondent for National Journal and served in a variety of editorial roles at B2B news service SmartBrief. Mazmanian has contributed reviews and articles to the Washington Post, the Washington City Paper, Newsday, New York Press, Architect Magazine and other publications.

Click here for previous articles by Mazmanian. Connect with him on Twitter at @thisismaz.


Featured

  • Telecommunications
    Stock photo ID: 658810513 By asharkyu

    GSA extends EIS deadline to 2023

    Agencies are getting up to three more years on existing telecom contracts before having to shift to the $50 billion Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions vehicle.

  • Workforce
    Shutterstock image ID: 569172169 By Zenzen

    OMB looks to retrain feds to fill cyber needs

    The federal government is taking steps to fill high-demand, skills-gap positions in tech by retraining employees already working within agencies without a cyber or IT background.

  • Acquisition
    GSA Headquarters (Photo by Rena Schild/Shutterstock)

    GSA to consolidate multiple award schedules

    The General Services Administration plans to consolidate dozens of its buying schedules across product areas including IT and services to reduce duplication.

Stay Connected

FCW Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.