Wash­ing­ton Re­port

Health Data Management - - INSIDE DEPARTMENTS - —Gre­gory Sla­bod­kin

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.

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