On January 30, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) released the draft “Connecting Health and Care for the Nation: A Shared Nationwide Interoperability Roadmap” for public review and comment. The roadmap focuses on actions that will enable consumers and healthcare providers to send, receive, find, and use a core set of electronic health information nationwide by 2017. That core set of information would include standardized data, such as demographics, that would facilitate matching and linking the information across all systems and platforms, the ONC said in the draft.
The roadmap identifies three “critical pathways” that need to be addressed to achieve this level of interoperability: 1) requiring standards; 2) incentivizing use of those standards; and 3) creating a “trusted environment” for collecting, sharing, and using electronic health information.
To make interoperability a reality in the near-term, the ONC says the public and private sectors need to:
- Establish a coordinated governance framework and process for nationwide health IT interoperability
- Improve technical standards and implementation guidance for sharing and using a common clinical data set
- Enhance incentives for sharing electronic health information according to common technical standards, starting with a common clinical data set
- Clarify privacy and security requirements that enable interoperability
Clinical culture, as well as state and organizational-level policies, also need to be addressed.
ONC will accept public comments on the draft version of the roadmap until 5 p.m. (EST) April 3 via its website, www.healthit.gov/interoperability.