Can nationwide interoperability across health care information technology systems be achieved by 2017?
The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) hopes so, and has released a roadmap for how to get there.
The ONC, the federal agency at the forefront of promoting health care IT, has published a draft of their “interoperability roadmap,” which members of the public can comment on until April 3. The agency hopes this will guide providers and professionals at every level of the health care ecosystem toward new standards for efficiently and securely sharing patient information to improve care.
“Interoperability” is defined in this context as the ability of systems to exchange and use electronic health information from other systems without special effort on the part of the user. The ONC says advancing interoperability is a vital step toward transforming health care delivery to better serve patients while saving providers money.
“ONC’s overarching goal for electronic health information exchange is for information to follow a patient where and when it is needed, across organizational, health IT developer and geographic boundaries,” the agency says on its website.
The roadmap is a 10-year plan describing barriers to interoperability in the current health care landscape, what the ONC would like to see improved, and proposed steps to take built into a timeline. The ONC lists the following “speed bumps” to interoperability:
- Lack of standardization for health information
- Difficulty aligning payment incentives
- Misinterpretation and differences in existing privacy laws
The ONC lays out a set of several business and functional requirements the agency feels are needed to achieve its interoperability goals, but calls out four of the highest priority actions:
- Establish a coordinated governance framework and process for nationwide health information interoperability
- Improve technical standards and implementation guidance for sharing and using a common clinical data set
- Advance incentives for sharing health information according to common technical standards, starting with a common clinical data set
- Clarify privacy and security requirements that enable interoperability
Learn more about ONC’s interoperability initiative here.
Interoperability among health care systems will be a key topic at this April’s HIMSS conference and exhibition in Chicago. The YouScript Personalized Prescribing software will be represented at the HIMSS 2015 Interoperability Showcase, which allows visitors to see a clinical continuum of care and experience how YouScript integrates with multiple health care technology solutions.
The YouScript clinical decision support software catches 33% more clinically significant probable interactions missed by most EHRs and drug databases by incorporating patient genetics into interaction analysis, helping save on health care costs and reducing the likelihood of adverse drug events. YouScript APIs support integration with population health analytics, e-prescribing, EHRs and other software systems.