The Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) recently released “Connecting Health and Care for the Nation: A Shared Nationwide Interoperability Roadmap” version 1.0. The draft roadmap is a proposal to deliver better care and result in healthier people through the safe and secure exchange and use of electronic health information.
“HHS is working to achieve a better health care system with healthier patients, but to do that, we need to ensure that information is available both to consumers and their doctors,” said HHS Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell. “Great progress has been made to digitize the care experience, and now it’s time to free up this data so patients and providers can securely access their health information when and where they need it. A successful learning system relies on an interoperable health IT system where information can be collected, shared, and used to improve health, facilitate research, and inform clinical outcomes. This roadmap explains what we can do over the next three years to get there.”
The draft ONCE interoperability roadmap builds on the vision paper, “Connecting Health and Care for the Nation: A 10-Year Vision to Achieve an Interoperable Health IT Infrastructure,” issued in June 2014. Months of comment and feedback from hundreds of health and health IT experts from across the nation through ONC advisory group feedback, listening sessions and an online forum aided in the development of the roadmap.
“To realize better care and the vision of a learning health system, we will work together across the public and private sectors to clearly define standards, motivate their use through clear incentives, and establish trust in the health IT ecosystem through defining the rules of engagement. We look forward to working collaboratively and systematically with federal, state and private sector partners to see that electronic health information is available when and where it matters,” said Karen DeSalvo, M.D., national coordinator for health IT.