The ONC's Five Steps to Interoperability by 2024

The ONC has released a roadmap outlining its 10-year plan to achieve nationwide interoperability. The proposal sets specific goals and priorities for the three, six and 10-year mark:

Three years: In the next three years, the ONC will focus on improving the capabilities of existing exchange networks, as well as fine-tuning the interoperability plan as a whole. During this time, the ONC will also work to build a strong foundation for more robust exchange by creating standards for data exchange issues such as patient-matching, and work with federal and state governments to encourage policies that facilitate and reward data exchange.

Six years: By 2020, the ONC expects the country will begin to see enhanced data exchange among individuals, providers and health departments, as well as to an expanded set of stakeholders including schools and ambulances. During this time, the ONC plans to work with all groups exchanging health data to improve standards and policies and close gaps in care.

10 years: In 10 years, the ONC predicts robust data exchange among stakeholders, and the increased access to patient data being used to improve care delivery. Public health tracking will be improved, and more patient-reported data from apps or other sources will be used in care.

Achieving this level of interoperability will require the ONC to take the following actions:

1. Advance industry standards. Through the Standards and Interoperability Framework, the ONC will continue to work with stakeholders to develop standards around issues such as patient-matching, user authentication, ensuring secure transmissions and handling unstructured data.

2. Use certification standards to support exchange-able technology. The ONC will use its Health IT Certification Program to help ensure technology on the market has the technical abilities needed to exchange data. The ONC will also look to expanding the certification program to include IT systems for post-acute providers and other stakeholders.

3. Ensure privacy and security standards keep pace with data exchange. The ONC will work with stakeholders to address any privacy or security vulnerabilities that emerge as a result of expanded data exchange as well as make sure patient access to data is both easy and secure. The ONC will also work with the National Institute of Standards and Technology and others in the industry to advance internal access authorization standards.

4. Promote clinical, financial and cultural incentives for data exchange. The ONC and HHS will work to further the incentives for data exchange inherent in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, such as the move to value-based care and changing Medicare reimbursement policies. The ONC will also encourage providers and other stakeholders to educate the public about the availability of health information and the benefits of exchange.

5. Establish governance. The HITECH Act gave the ONC the authority to oversee the national health information exchange network. The ONC will use this authority to promote data exchange among diverse entities throughout the country.


More Articles on the ONC:

GOP Questions ONC's Authority to Open Proposed Health IT Safety Center
Code-a-Palooza-Winning App Uses Medicare Data to Inform Consumers' Healthcare Choices
ONC Announces New Structure, Leaders

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