Health IT groups respond to ONC’s interoperability framework

Reducing the burden on providers and ensuring that measurements have the biggest impact are two of the major themes running through the responses provided by health IT groups to a recently published interoperability framework.

The Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for Health Information Technology (IT) released the Proposed Interoperability Standards Measurement Framework in April 2017. In the document, the ONC requested feedback, in particular on “how to best engage data holders and other relevant stakeholders in implementing the proposed framework.”

A number of organizations, including the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA), the Electronic Health Record Association (EHRA), the College for Health Information Management Executives (CHIME), and Health IT Now offered their comments and concerns.

EHRA urged the ONC, in its response, to “carefully consider and take into account the potential burdens and opportunity costs on providers and developers associated with additional measurement.” The organization also suggested that “any volume measurements should be meaningful and easily obtainable from metadata already available on the transactions, rather than involving separate surveys collecting these or other data.”

Health IT agreed that “the barriers to interoperability can best be solved by private-market developed standards and initiatives.” The group encouraged “ONC to involve patients and patient advocates in interoperability measurement.” AMIA suggested that “Focusing on high-value use cases and associated standards will constrain the measurement options and limit the reporting burden.” They gave the example of “LOINC for moving lab orders and results information between EHRs and lab systems, as well as sharing across institutions.”

HIMSS emphasized the “importance of pursuing a measurement framework that will not produce undue burden on the industry.” CHIME’s response to the proposed interoperability framework was more resistant than the other IT organizations. As reported in Fierce Healthcare, the group cited “patient matching as one of the biggest hurdles to interoperability and called the measurement standards ‘premature.’”

Elation Health will continue to monitor the proposed interoperability framework responses, as part of our mission to support independent physicians, enabling phenomenal care for everyone.