AMIA throws its support behind proposed interoperability framework

Though the medical informatics group urged ONC officials to take clinician, patient-centered approach.
By Bernie Monegain
01:33 PM
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AMIA interoperability framework

The American Medical Informatics Association has told the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT that it supports the agency’s draft framework for measuring the use of interoperability standards in health IT.

The organization also urged ONC to take a measurement approach that focuses on the clinician and patient experience.

In its comments, AMIA emphasized the need to have the benefits of measurement outweigh the costs, and it urged ONC to provide sufficient support to develop and implement automated measurement.  

“Interoperability is hard in the concrete and impossible in the abstract,” AMIA President and CEO Douglas H. Fridsma, MD, wrote in his comments to ONC. “We will make the best progress toward measuring interoperability when we can clearly define what we want to do with the information that is exchanged.”

[Also: ONC leaders see Silicon Valley-like future for EHR interoperability]

“Focusing on specific ways in which we can support clinicians and improve the health and healthcare of patients is the best hope we have to make substantive and measurable progress towards widespread interoperability,” Fridsma added.

“We need federal officials to think differently about how to measure interoperability,” Thomas H. Payne, MD, said in a statement. “The issue of ‘do we have interoperability?’ is a complex and dynamic question, but a vitally important one.”

Payne, chair of the AMIA Board and medical director of IT Services at the University of Washington’s UW Medicine, advocated for digging into the details to answer that question from both a clinician’s and a patient’s perspective.

ONC issued its “Proposed Interoperability Standards Measurement Framework” last April, asking for feedback regarding an industry-wide measurement framework for interoperability standards.

Today, capabilities to measure and report on the use of standards vary significantly across healthcare IT, ONC noted, and the agency is striving for uniform measures.

ONC is accepting public comment on the proposed Interoperability Standards Measurement Framework until July 31.

Twitter: @Bernie_HITN
Email the writer: bernie.monegain@himssmedia.com


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