Only You Can Improve the 2018 Interoperability Standards Advisory Reference Edition

By Steven Posnack, M.S., M.H.S. / Director, Office of Standards and Technology
Twitter: @ONC_HealthIT
Steven’s Twitter: @HealthIT_Policy

Yes, it’s that time again. The federal fiscal year is coming to a close, the kids are going back to school, and you’ve got that déjà vu feeling like you should be preparing to comment on the Interoperability Standards Advisory (ISA).

Trust your instincts, because the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) is looking for your comments on any last revisions, additions, or recommendations you have for the ISA’s online edition before we lock-in all of the ISA’s 2017 improvements to make the “2018 Reference Edition.”

The ISA is a dynamic, coordinated catalog of the standards and implementation specifications that can be used to meet interoperability needs in healthcare. The ISA will play a role in ONC’s efforts to implement the 21st Century Cures Act and serves as a way to harness industry input on the interoperability standards that are a best fit for a particular use in health information technology (health IT). Through this open process, we have engaged a full spectrum of stakeholders to continue to make the ISA more detailed and comprehensive each year.

Last year, ONC shifted from a static “document-based” ISA to a more interactive online platform, which has allowed for ongoing updates to occur throughout the year. Before the 2018 “Reference Edition” ISA is published later this year, ONC needs your help to ensure that it reflects the latest and most accurate information as possible. In addition, we have added a number of new components to the ISA, including:

  • Consumer-based interoperability needs as recommended by the Health IT Standards Committee, the former Federal Advisory Committee, being replaced by the Health IT Advisory Committee;
  • A new section that includes administrative standards and implementation specifications that were developed in coordination with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS);
  • Educational and informational resources to allow for better understanding of health IT interoperability concepts;
  • New questions and answers submitted for stakeholder feedback; and more!

ONC will be accepting public comments for the Interoperability Standards Advisory until 5 p.m. ET November 20, 2017. Please comment directly in the ISA and the specific “interoperability need” categories you are review or, if you prefer, feel free to submit a consolidated comment letter.

This post was originally published on the Health IT Buzz and is syndicated here with permission.