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ONC chief discusses focus on interoperability

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The Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for Health Information Technology (IT) has emphasized the need to adopt the usage of electronic health records (EHR) for many years. In 2009, the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act charged the ONC with promoting both the adoption and the meaningful use of EHRs.

At a recent meeting in Washington, new ONC chief Donald W. Rucker, MD, said that now “adoption is out and usability and interoperability are in as health IT becomes more fully developed and new healthcare laws take full effect,” according to an article in Healthcare IT News. The ONC chief is focused on ensuring that EHRs are usable for the physicians as well as for the patients.

Dr. Rucker also emphasized the need for interoperability, ensuring that EHR systems are able to talk to each other seamlessly and securely. In fact, the article states, the “ONC is considering incentives for both providers and patients to share medical records in order to boost interoperability.”

True interoperability involves a single patient record that can be shared by all providers, enabling independent primary care physicians to spend less time inputting data and more time with their patients. Elation’s Collaborative Health Record, for example, enables all providers involved in a patient’s care to take action based on that patient’s most up-to-date clinical information.

At Elation, we are committed to reducing the independent physician’s burden when it comes to maintaining and sharing patients’ healthcare records. Our EHR solution provides physicians the information they need at the touch of a finger.

As adoption numbers increase among independent physicians, the ONC has turned its focus to usability and interoperability. At Elation, our focus has always been on providing physicians the advanced technology they need to ensure they are working together seamlessly for better patient outcomes.

[Vasin Leenanuruksa] ©