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ONC Paper: Achieving an Interoperable HIT Infrastructure

Earlier today, the HHS Office of the National Coordinator for HIT (ONC) announced the release of its paper, “Connecting Health and Care for the Nation: A 10-Year Vision to Achieve an Interoperable Health IT Infrastructure.” The paper broadly covers issues and activities pertaining to interoperability and identifies five general building blocks for a nationwide interoperable HIT Infrastructure:

  1. Core technical standards and functions: ONC will use its existing Standards and Interoperability (S&I) Framework to enable the volunteer standards development community to advance core standards for terminology, content and format, transport, and security.
  2. Certification to support adoption and optimization of health IT products and services: ONC will use its HIT certification program and certification criteria regulations to enhance interoperability on a broad scale.
  3. Privacy and security protections for health information: ONC will identify and resolve weaknesses/gaps in privacy and security in various exchange models and invest in methods that support distributed analytics and open evidence without sharing PHI.
  4. Supportive business, clinical, cultural, and regulatory environments: ONC will work with stakeholders to resolve the ever-present cultural and business barrier to health information exchange.
  5. Rules of engagement and governance: Through standards, policies, and services, ONC will facilitate trust and interoperability across various networks and stakeholders.

The building blocks were informed in part by ONC’s March 2013 Request for Information (RFI) on advancing interoperability and health information exchange. ACR submitted comments in response to that RFI on April 15, 2013.

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