The Sequoia Project, a nonprofit dedicated to solving health IT interoperability for the public good, is launching a new workgroup for the Interoperability Matters cooperative focused on information blocking. Launched in October 2018, Interoperability Matters is a public-private cooperative, with member and public events focused on addressing the key remaining issues that hinder nationwide health IT interoperability. The initiative is open to broad private and public sector participation, and this new workgroup will collectively discuss, evaluate and comment on the information blocking requirements and exceptions outlined in the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT’s (ONC) proposed rule published in the Federal Register on Monday, Mar. 4, 2019.
“We’ve seen a seismic shift towards greater interoperability in the past three years. True, meaningful interoperability is expanding and hospitals and health systems across the country are beginning to share health records at an unprecedented level. But we can’t declare victory yet considering there are still barriers, including the practices that are perceived to impede information sharing,” said Mariann Yeager, CEO of The Sequoia Project. “We’ve reached a tipping point where discussions of interoperability – and the remaining interoperability challenges – are now mainstream and everyone wants a seat at the table. We’re happy to make room for more voices.”
Hundreds of volunteers came forward this winter to offer their expertise from across the entire healthcare continuum, including many organizations that have not previously worked with The Sequoia Project. The expansive interest illustrates the wide impact that the information blocking issue and associated regulations have on health systems, payers, technology vendors and patients.