HHS updates interoperability standards: 5 things to know 

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HHS' Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT unveiled new updates July 9 to diversify and account more for social determinants of health in the U.S. health data interoperability standards. 

The agency's United States Core Data for Interoperability version 2 standards are a set of health data classes and elements that healthcare organizations across the country must follow to support an interoperable health information exchange. 

Five things to know about the new updates: 

1. Health IT stakeholders now have clearer definitions and directions for supporting the standardized, electronic exchange of social determinants of health, sexual orientation and gender identity data elements. 

2. By updating the standards, providers can now start systemizing the collection and use of social determinants of health, sexual orientation and gender identity data in the clinical setting. 

3. The update does not require clinicians to record these types of data or individuals to have to share this information. 

4. The health IT community submitted more than 600 data classes and elements, including merged and duplicated data elements, as part of the development process for the USCDI version 2 standards. 

5. Micky Tripathi, PhD, national coordinator for health IT, said in the news release the updated standards build on the feedback the agency got from stakeholders. 


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