ONC awards $2.7M in new funding for interoperability innovation initiatives

Chesapeake Regional Information System, MedStar Health Research Institute and other LEAP in Health IT awardees will launch new projects focused on use of FHIR and other exchange specs across a variety of use cases.
By Mike Miliard
10:22 AM
Interoperability API FHIR data exchange (abstract image of light pinpoints with line connections)

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT this week announced another batch of four awardees under its Leading Edge Acceleration Projects in Health Information Technology program.

WHY IT MATTERS
Using more than $2.7 million funding, the LEAP in Health IT awardees will focus on existing and emerging hurdles to more seamless interoperability, according to ONC – specifically exploring new opportunities for the adoption and use of health IT standards across the healthcare ecosystem.

The 2020 awardees emphasize three areas of interest, the agency said: advancing registry infrastructure for API-based health IT ecosystem, cutting-edge health IT tools for scaling health research and integrating HHS data to support improved outcomes. They are:

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Chesapeake Regional Information System for our Patients
CRISP, the HIE serving Maryland and Washington, D.C., will work with the American College of Cardiology on ways to spur the accelerated adoption of modern standards, including as FHIR, for the acquisition of clinical data for registry submission, and use of that data for improved decision support.

MedStar Health Research Institute
Along with Georgetown University's Innovation Center for Biomedical Informatics, the American College of Emergency Physicians, HealthLab and Asymmetrik, MedStar will explore existing challenges and new opportunities for open source health IT tools. In particular, they seek to demonstrate new uses of individual bulk FHIR data extraction to support medical research.

Children's Hospital Corporation
Working alongside Yale University and Yale-New Haven Health, the Children's Hospital Corporation will develop a new FHIR-based platform to manage bulk data supporting an ecosystem for research and learning. The goal is enable new approaches to annotating FHIR-bulk data for analytics, de-identify data and query patient cohorts.

Missouri Department of Mental Health, Division of Developmental Disabilities
This organization will work with many of its own stakeholders to help advance its value-based payment model with infrastructure that can integrate structured components to support person-centered planning, reporting, population health, and data sharing across healthcare and home- and community-based service, says ONC. It will do all of this while it also tests and adopts the electronic long-term services and support (eLTSS) standard.

THE LARGER TREND
ONC made similar disbursements around this time last year, funding new provider and HIE-focused projects designed to spur new standards-based approaches to data exchange and patient engagement. As the agency described it then, the LEAP in Health IT project is designed to "further a new generation of health IT development and inform the innovative implementation and refinement of standards, methods and techniques for overcoming major barriers and challenges as they are identified."

ON THE RECORD
"The LEAP program was created to bring future-focused outcomes closer to the present. This third cohort will inform the implementation and refinement of standards, methods, and innovative techniques to create breakthroughs in how we approach health care and research," said Steve Posnack, deputy national coordinator for health IT, in a statement announcing the new funding.

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Twitter: @MikeMiliardHITN
Email the writer: mike.miliard@himssmedia.com

Healthcare IT News is a publication of HIMSS Media.

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