NQF maps out measures for interoperability
The National Quality Forum moved closer to finalizing a framework for measuring interoperability. NQF said the framework will help identify in the nation’s progress to enable widespread health data exchange.
The agency’s initiative comes as hospitals and electronic health records vendors are struggling with interoperability and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT is working to advance standards that enable information sharing.
“Interoperability is more than EHR to EHR, and all sources of data should be taken into consideration,” NQF said. “All critical data elements should be included in the analysis of measures as interoperability increases access to information.”
To that end, NQF based its work on ONC’s shared nationwide interoperability roadmap to measure information exchange happening in four domains: disparate systems, data to facilitate information sharing, interoperability to enable decision making and, broadly, the impact interoperability can have on healthcare outcomes.
NQF was charged by the Department of Health and Human Services to identify a set of measures around interoperability that would help gauge performance. The goal is to help the healthcare industry improve care management, preventative care and population health management.
“There is need for usable clinical information to flow freely across networks and between hospitals and physicians,” NQF said in its draft report on framework. “Healthcare industry performance depends on usable clinical information that freely flows, regardless of the type of system, organization, or geography.
The project is open to public comment through the QF site until 6 p.m. June 20.