ONC Interoperability Roadmap Draft Unveils Guiding Principles

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology unveiled a draft for its 10-year plan for healthcare interoperability at a joint meeting on October 15.

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) unveiled a draft for it’s 10-year plan for healthcare interoperability at a joint meeting on October 15.

The roadmap’s vision includes leveraging health information technology (IT) to increase healthcare quality while lowering costs, and outlines who should do what, by when so that the industry can meet the country’s expectations regarding health IT interoperability.

“We have heard loudly and clearly that interoperability is a national priority, and that there is value in this effort spearheaded by ONC as the federal government’s coordinator of health IT policy,” National Coordinator for Health IT Karen B. DeSalvo, MD, MPH, and Erica Gomez, interoperability and exchange portfolio manager for ONC, wrote on the ONC website. “It is also apparent that there is enthusiasm, capability and a willingness to cooperate and collaborate in ways not previously seen.”

According to the presentation, through 2014 and 2017 individuals should be able to send, receive, find, and use electronic health information, while providers should be able to do the same with the common meaningful use data set for all patients.

In the following 3-year timeframe the roadmap draft calls for patients being able to electronically contribute to and correct their health information and access shared care plans in standardized electronic format. And providers should be able to use electronic clinical data from multiple sources for decision support across care continuum.

The roadmap draft also included guiding principles:

  1. Build upon existing health IT infrastructure
  2. One size does not fit all
  3. Empower individuals
  4. Leverage the market
  5. Simplify
  6. Maintain modularity
  7. Consider the current environment and support multiple levels of advancement
  8. Focus on value
  9. Protect privacy and security in all aspects of interoperability

The next step of the roadmap comes in January 2015, when the Health IT Policy Committee and the Health Information Exchange workgroup will provide recommendations and governance reports. In March 2015, the roadmap will be updated based on public input.

The roadmap draft was developed through meetings with subject matter experts and state health IT leaders, as well as feedback from stakeholders.

“Our ultimate goal is to have a nationwide, learning health system where accurate and evidence-based information helps ensure the right individual receives the right care at the right time to increase health-care quality, lower health-care costs and improve population health,” wrote John Rancourt, public health analyst, and Julie Crouse, program analyst, both with the Office of Care Transformation, on the ONC blog.