Electronic Health Information Exchange Governance Framework Released

Last year, ONC issued a Request for Information (RFI) to gather public input on a potential regulatory approach that would have spelled out “conditions for trusted exchange” (safeguards, technical, and business practice) through rulemaking, and establish a voluntary accreditation and certification process for validating organizations as being legitimate participants in the Nationwide Health Information Network (NwHIN).

We started with an RFI because we recognized that the health information exchange marketplace is still in its infancy, and we wanted to get broad input before issuing a proposed rule.

How ONC is Promoting Health Information Exchange Governance

Based on what we heard, I noted in a blog from last September that we decided not to continue with the formal rulemaking process and instead implement an approach that provides a means for defining and implementing nationwide trusted exchange with higher agility, and lower likelihood of regret. And, in a December 2012 blog, I explained in greater detail some of the activities ONC intended to take on to promote good governing practices within and across communities.

Since that blog ONC has been actively listening to and collaborating with stakeholders through:

Governance Framework for Trusted Electronic Health Information Exchange

Today, I’m pleased to announce that ONC has just released the “Governance Framework for Trusted Electronic Health Information Exchange.” We were told in comments that ONC needs to establish a policy framework for private actors to align with.  The Governance Framework reflects what matters most to ONC when it comes to national health information exchange governance and the principles in which ONC believes.  We’ve published this framework to provide a common foundation for all types of governance models. Entities that set health information exchange policy should look to the Governance Framework’s principles as a way to align their work with national priorities.  It is critical that we are all working from a similar understanding of the expectations for nationwide electronic health information exchange.  This Framework is an important step to set that direction.

Governance Framework Principles

As we continue to work with all of you on this issue, expect us to follow the four key categories of principles discussed in the Governance Framework and to ask you how you’re addressing them: