Home > EHR, research > ONC Announces “ONC Tech Lab” Program and Interoperability Proving Ground

ONC Announces “ONC Tech Lab” Program and Interoperability Proving Ground

Yesterday, the HHS Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) announced the establishment of the “ONC Tech Lab,” a program comprised of various efforts and projects under the ONC’s Office of Standards and Technology. The activities under the new label have been organized into four categories:

  • Standards Coordination: Work with standards development organizations and industry to fine tune standards and identify needs.
  • Testing and Utilities: Development and compilation of functionality test tools, validators, etc.
  • Pilots: Implementation pilots supporting standards, particularly from the annual Interoperability Standards Advisory.
  • Innovation: Supporting start-ups, “Challenge” grant competitions, etc.

Today, ONC launched the “Interoperability Proving Ground (IPG)” under the aforementioned “Pilots” category. The IPG appears to be a dynamic catalog of research projects testing exchange/connectivity-oriented standards/services that have been shared by the IPG user community. The shared projects can be tagged for related standards and keywords (e.g., FHIR, C-CDA, etc.). The first IPG listings are mostly ONC-supported projects; however, ONC is encouraging anyone and everyone to share their interoperability projects on the site.

Given the pre-HIMSS 2016 timing of these announcements, one should expect the ONC Tech Lab and its various subcomponents to be a major focus of ONC speakers at the show. Another focus should be the imminent proposed rule to enhance the oversight and accountability of the ONC’s health IT certification program—but only if that proposed rule can somehow make it to the Public Inspection Desk in time for the conference. The proposed rule was submitted for review on January 25 and is still with the Office of Management and Budget as of this writing—obviously, the window for getting it public before (or during) HIMSS 2016 is shrinking.

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Categories: EHR, research
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