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ONC proposes direct review of health IT certification to improve interoperability

Medical records should be able to “to speak and listen in the same language,” officials say in HIMSS16 session.
By Gus Venditto
01:53 PM

LAS VEGAS - Health IT products will be certified directly by the Office of the National Coordinator under a proposed rule change, officials announced in the National Coordinator Spotlight session Tuesday at HIMSS16. Senior members of the ONC described the change as necessary to make sure that medical record sharing becomes a reality.

Elise Adams, acting director of policy at ONC said, “it’s crucial that we certify technology,” in emphasizing the importance of improved interoperability. Medical records should be able to “to speak and listen in the same language,” she said.

[Also: EHR giants pledge to standardize health IT]

Karen DeSalvo, national coordinator for Health IT, talked about the initiative as being consistent with the goals outlined by Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell Monday in her HIMSS16 keynote speech in support of open APIs to support data transfers. Burwell said that companies that provide 90 percent of EHR technology have pledged to support the APIs.

“The most recurring themes I hear from consumers is they want their data to be free,” DeSalvo said.

The proposed rules will enable ONC to “directly review certified health IT products, including certified electronic health records systems (EHRs), and take necessary action to address circumstances such as potential risks to public health and safety.”
Comments are due by May 2, 2016.

The full proposed rule is posted below:

 

Twitter: @GusVenditto


This story is part of our ongoing coverage of the HIMSS16 conference. Follow our live blog for real-time updates, and visit Destination HIMSS16 for a full rundown of our reporting from the show. For a selection of some of the best social media posts of the show, visit our Trending at #HIMSS16 hub.

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