ONC releases interoperability draft; net neutrality rollback raises providers’ concerns; Pew, AMIA protest ONC budget cuts.
The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT has released a draft Trusted Exchange Framework to enable interoperability across disparate healthcare information networks nationally, as directed by the 21st Century Cures Act. The draft framework is designed to support nationwide interoperability by outlining a common set of principles, as well as minimum terms and conditions for trusted data exchange. According to ONC, the document focuses on policies, procedures and technical standards that build from existing health information network capabilities and enables them to work together to provide a “single on-ramp” to patient information regardless of the HIT vendor they use or the health information exchange (HIE) with which they contract.
“Currently, there are more than 100 regional HIEs and multiple national level organizations that support exchange use cases,” states ONC’s draft Trusted Exchange Framework. “While these organizations have expanded interoperability within their particular spheres, the connectivity across all or even most of them has not been achieved. This has limited the patient health information that a provider or health system has access to, unless they join multiple networks.”
According to ONC, the proposed Trusted Exchange Framework supports the agency’s goals of achieving nationwide interoperability by—among other capabilities—having “open and accessible application programming interfaces (APIs) to encourage entrepreneurial, user-focused innovation to make health information more accessible and to improve electronic health record (EHR) usability.”
National Coordinator for HIT Donald Rucker says provisions of the Cures Act seek to advance the interoperable exchange of electronic health information, and the agency’s draft Trusted Exchange Framework will help guide the country toward interoperability.