Dr. Rasu Shrestha, UPMC chief innovation officer, to lead VA's open API pledge

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Rasu Shrestha, MD, chief innovation officer for Pittsburgh-based UPMC, will helm the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs' open application programming interface pledge, the agency announced March 19.

VA Secretary David Shulkin, MD, unveiled the API pledge March 9 at the HIMSS Annual Conference & Exhibition in Las Vegas. An initial 11 providers signed on to the initiative during the conference.

Under the pledge, providers commit to collaborating with the VA to advance EHR interoperability through the Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources standards framework.

"This is an important moment for the private sector to answer the Secretary's call and work with our vendors to make information flow and use as freely accessible as possible to make care safer and better for veterans," Dr. Shrestha said in a March 19 statement.

Those who pledged to the initiative will meet for an initial roundtable discussion in April to commit to implementing guidelines laid out by the Argonaut Project, a private sector effort to advance adoption of interoperability standards. Participants will test draft specifications for scheduling, clinical notes and encounters to improve data exchange for clinicians serving veterans.

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