Consumer Partnership for eHealth praises ONC's interoperability plan

In advance of the April 3 deadline for public comments on the ONC's interoperability roadmap, the Consumer Partnership for eHealth praised the plan for its flexibility and made recommendations for the common clinical data set.

The Shared Nationwide Interoperability Roadmap, released in late January, outlines the ONC's goals for achieving national interoperability healthcare IT by 2017. The agency invited public comment until Friday, April 3.

The Consumer Partnership for eHealth, a Washington, D.C.-based nonpartisan coalition established in 2005 and led by the National Partnership for Women & Families, said in its comments the ONC's plan supports a learning health system and the interoperability plan is inclusive of multiple types of health systems and individuals. The organization encouraged the ONC to focus on consumers as well as providers to ensure equal consideration.

It also recommended that the ONC use the HHS standards for demographic data collection in its common clinical data set, add disability status and functional limitations and sexual orientation/gender identity to the data set and work with individuals, patients and caregivers on future additions to the data set.

The organization also recommended the ONC develop a policy framework for the exchange of patient-generated data in the next three years. Developing a stronger policy declaration for patient-generated data will encourage patient engagement in health management, according to the organization's comments.

"In the execution of the Roadmap's goals, we encourage providers to vie patient engagement not as a static concept, but rather a dynamic process," the comments read. "Not all individuals will be engaged in the same way, and the same individual might need different engagement strategies at different points in her life."

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