As our nation transitions to a digital healthcare system, our stakeholders are discovering new opportunities for using health information technology to advance health care delivery, public health, and research to improve people’s lives. The federal government is no exception in this regard; agencies across the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) are beginning to leverage the data and capabilities available through electronic health records for a broad range of federal activities and programs, including product safety and surveillance,
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The Cures Act Final Rule includes regulatory requirements to implement secure, standards-based application programming interfaces (APIs). To support the acceleration of API adoption in health care, ONC has published a series of perspective reports that focus on key stakeholders and their views on APIs.
Accelerating APIs for Scientific Discovery: Provider Perspectives Brief [PDF – 740 KB] is now available. This fourth and final report explored provider perspectives on API-based data sharing in a rapidly evolving electronic health data ecosystem.
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It’s that time of year again! The annual comment period for the Interoperability Standards Advisory (ISA) will be open from July 28 – September 30. This is an opportunity for you to provide comments, suggest revisions, and propose additions to the ISA before we publish the 9th Annual ISA Reference Edition in January 2023. Of course, you are welcome to provide comments on the ISA at any time during the year, but please submit your comments by September 30th if you would like your suggestions to be considered as part of the 2023 ISA Reference Edition!
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In January 2022, ONC issued a Request for Information (RFI) that sought public input on the ONC Health IT Certification Program and how it could incorporate standards, implementation specifications, and certification criteria related to electronic prior authorization. Shortly thereafter, ONC charged the Health Information Technology Advisory Committee (HITAC) with providing input and recommendations in response to this RFI. The Electronic Prior Authorization (ePA) RFI Task Force of the HITAC led consideration of the charge and developed a report and recommendations that were recently approved by the full HITAC.
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On January 18, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) and the TEFCA Recognized Coordinating Entity (RCE), The Sequoia Project, released the Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement (TEFCA). The next key step for TEFCA is the release of resources to advance its operationalization, such as standard operating procedures (SOPs). These SOPs will include specific policies and procedures to further guide QHINs and will identify, where applicable, necessary technical implementation requirements.
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Editor’s Note: On April 14, 2022 at the ONC Annual Meeting, San Diego Health Connect will be demo-ing their project in the exhibit hall.
How can we improve the ability of patient to convey their preferences regarding access to and use of their electronic medical record information? San Diego Health Connect – a recipient of an ONC Leading Edge Acceleration Projects in Health IT (LEAP) program award – developed a scalable consent framework for electronic health records to help answer this question.
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The Health Information Technology Advisory Committee (HITAC) plays an important role in ONC activities and objectives. Required by the 21st Century Cures Act, the HITAC has been operational since 2018 and represents a wide range of health IT stakeholders who inform ONC’s policies and programs.
The HITAC recommends policies, standards, implementation specifications, and certification criteria to the national coordinator across four target areas: interoperability, privacy and security, patient access to information, and use of technologies that support public health.
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The Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement is now available. Within the health information technology (health IT) world, few things have been as elusive as a governance framework for nationwide health information exchange. When ONC was formed in 2004, the concept of a nationwide health information network—where your information could be located across the country in a click—was a big picture vision that drove the federal government’s early health IT infrastructure, standards, policy actions, and investments.
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Today we are pleased to ring in the new year with the release of the 8th annual update of the Interoperability Standards Advisory (ISA) Reference Edition, ONC’s catalog of curated standards and implementation specifications for health information interoperability that reflects extensive feedback from industry and federal agencies. Many of the updates can be found on our Recent ISA Updates page.
Noteworthy Updates to the ISA for 2022
COVID-19. We’ve added Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Immunization Information System (IIS) code set standards and Health Level Seven (HL7®) IIS implementation guidance to the COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus Pandemic interoperability need.
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When President Obama signed the bipartisan 21st Century Cures Act (Cures Act) into law in 2016, it marked a significant shift in health policy and health law. Not since the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) has there been a more noteworthy change in how electronic health information (EHI) is approached under United States federal law. Importantly, the Cures Act’s information blocking provision should always be considered in the context of other laws that speak to how EHI is shared in health care.
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