HIMSS wants to see changes in ONC's interoperability standards

HIMSS has sent a letter to Karen DeSalvo, MD, HHS' acting assistant secretary for health, in response to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology's 2016 Interoperability Standards Advisory.

Here are five observations and suggestions put forth in the letter.

1. HIMSS noted appreciation for the value sets section in the Interoperability Standards Advisory, but suggested the addition of a centralized repository for all value sets included in the 2015 Edition Health IT Certification Criteria Rule.

2. Additionally, HIMSS supported the addition of a centralized repository as a valuable tool for all participating authors to create consistent value set development.

3. HIMSS applauded the ONC's six new characteristics for best available standards, implementation specifics and security patterns. HIMSS requested clarification of the ONC's adoption level characteristic.

4. HIMSS also recommended the addition of implementation specifications and adoption levels with more consistent pairing. "In order to address possible underuse of the standard and accompanying implementation specification, HIMSS recommends publishing a slope of the adoption curve," the letter reads.

5. HIMSS recognized the ONC for "separating out some of the interoperability needs where Logical Observation Identifiers Names Codes represent the question vs. where Systematize Nomenclature of Medicine represents the answer." HIMSS encouraged the ONC to clarify how data elements are articulated, ensuring distinction between the question and answer.

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