ONC, HIMSS put focus on collaborative COVID-19 response

The agency's Interoperability Proving Ground is becoming a hotbed of coronavirus projects. Meanwhile, HIMSS Healthbox has launched a digital think tank to cross-pollinate ideas that work.
By Mike Miliard
02:38 PM

This ONC map shows the locations of ongoing Interoperability Proving Ground projects focused on COVID-19 response.

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT reports that its Interoperability Proving Ground, first launched in 2016, has recently become a locus of innovation for a wide variety of data exchange initiatives aimed at stemming the spread of COVID-19.

And the agency is calling on healthcare technology professionals to add their own projects to the mix on the community platform.

"Through mission, patriotism, and sheer will, many of you – from the front lines to the coding scrums – have stepped up to gather data, release new best practices, create new connections, and point out gaps," said Deputy National Coordinator Steve Posnack in an ONC blog post on Tuesday.

"There’s so much going on it’s easy to be overwhelmed and hard to keep track. Should you join an initiative or start one of your own? Is someone confronting the same challenge you are? If we all share our efforts, the health IT community can come together in the most nimble way possible to provide tools that can help fight this pandemic."

Already, there's an array of interesting COVID-19 initiatives being explored on the site, focused on public health tracking, telehealth visits within EHR workflow, blockchain-enabled contact tracing, AI-powered triage tools, HIE connectivity and much more. 

"We need to be organized, and to be organized we need a dynamic, lightweight way to share what we’re working on, who’s doing it, how we can support one another, and how to find out more," said Posnack, who noted that ONC will be monitoring submissions – he encouraged innovators to share theirs at the IPG – to help coordinate complementary projects and stakeholders.

COVID-19 Digital Think Tank

Meanwhile, Healthbox, which, like Healthcare IT News, is part of HIMSS, announced recently that it has created a new COVID-19 Digital Think Tank, enabling health information and technology professionals around the globe to share perspectives and best practices about how they're innovating new approaches to testing, triage and treatment.

Anyone is welcome to submit new projects and ideas to the think tank, but the focus should be on "strategies, operating plans and technologies that have proven successful for your organization or community to date," according to Healthbox. 

Submitters should be willing to provide their name, role, organization, email – all posts will remain public for the sake of transparency – along with brief descriptions of the approaches that have proven successful for their organization.

"The HIMSS COVID-19 Digital Think Tank is a valuable resource for you and your peers as you lead your facility, team and patients through the crisis," said Healthbox officials. "Share what you know, see what’s working for others, and bring lessons back to your community."

Population health management enters an uncharted new era

This month, we look at how approaches to treating COVID-19 and other illnesses are shifting in this new era.

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

Healthcare IT News is a publication of HIMSS Media

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