HIMSS weighs in on Interoperability Roadmap

Applauds ONC's 'person-centric vision' but says some timelines are too aggressive
By Mike Miliard
11:17 AM
Map and compass

Noting that it builds on an approach that it "actively supports" – standards to lay the groundwork for interoperability, and processes to test and certify that IT systems implement those standards – HIMSS has offered qualified support for ONC's Interoperability Roadmap.

[See also: Key takeaways from ONC's interoperability roadmap]

In an April 3 letter sent to National Coordinator Karen DeSalvo, MD, HIMSS submited its comments on ONC’s "Connecting Health Care for the Nation: A Shared Nationwide Interoperability Roadmap."

While HIMSS overall supports the strategy for for an interoperable IT infrastructure, it offers a handful of recommendations for ONC. Among them:

  • The roadmap will require "well-coordinated governance processes that include involvement from federal partners, the private sector, payers, and the patient community, with robust incentives for each domain to buy-in to the process."
  • Many of the three-, six- and ten-year timelines put forth in the document "are too aggressive and need to be reevaluated, with the exception of the privacy and security provisions."
  • HIMSS cheered ONC's "person-centric vision" of interoperability, and its focus on empowering patients to "demand that their providers and relevant health IT systems be interoperable."
  • On the other hand, it "does not support the idea that individual consent should be required for use and disclosure of information if individual consent is not required under applicable law."
  • With regard to patient privacy, HIMSS makes the case that, "as a critical U.S. infrastructure," the healthcare system "needs support at many levels to keep data secure and to be positioned to address cyber threats."

HIMSS made note that it is "committed to being a thought leader on interoperability and spurring the community and stakeholder groups forward." Read its full comment letter here.

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