Skip to main content

What is the government doing about interoperability?

iStock 172457372
What is the government doing about interoperability?

What is the government doing about interoperability? July 27, 2017

Care coordination is achieved through the sharing of patient information, between medical providers and between physicians and their patients. Interoperability between electronic health records (EHR) systems enables that care coordination to become seamless, efficient, and more effective. How is the public sector responding to the growing need for interoperability between health systems?

In Connecting Health and Care for the Nation – A Shared Nationwide Interoperability Roadmap, the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for Health Information Technology (IT) lays out a plan for building upon the success of recent health IT advances. The ONC recognizes the need for interoperability and the need “to create an open, person-centered health IT infrastructure.”

Interoperability goals for the future

ONC’s vision is a “learning health system … where providers have a seamless ability to securely access and use health information from different sources.”  In its roadmap, the ONC states its goals on the following timeline:

  • 2015-2017: Send, receive, find and use priority data domains to improve health care quality and outcomes.
  • 2018-2020: Expand data sources and users in the interoperable health IT ecosystem to improve health and lower costs.
  • 2021-2024: Achieve nationwide interoperability to enable a learning health system, with the person at the center of a system that can continuously improve care, public health, and science through real-time data access.

In 2015, the ONC also published its Interoperability Standards Advisory, which represents the model in which the office “will coordinate the identification, assessment, and determination of the best available interoperability standards and implementation specifications for industry use toward specific health care purposes.”

The ONC recognizes that more needs to be done in the way of establishing policies, updating technology, and changing the culture toward care coordination, in order to achieve true interoperability. The move toward electronic health records for every patient is a step in that direction.

Patient-centered health care is a priority shared by independent physicians, the ONC, and Elation Health. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you!