CommonWell TV: Members React to ONC’s Information Blocking Regulation

In March 2020, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) issued a final rule, 21st Century Cures Act: Interoperability, Information Blocking, and the ONC Health IT Certification Program in an effort to empower patients and promote health information interoperability by prohibiting info blocking. All Actors—defined by ONC as health care providers, Health IT developers of certified Health IT and Health Information Networks (HINS) or HIEs—recently became subject to ONC’s Information Blocking rules and regulations. As an organization built around the idea that the patient should be at the center of their health care, CommonWell (@CommonWell) is philosophically directly aligned with the rule.

Recently, during our CommonWell TV 2021 filming, many members shared their own reactions. See highlights below and watch CommonWell TV 2021 full interviews.

Healthcare is better when the doctor has all the information she needs at the point of care or before she talks to a patient, but unfortunately, information has often been locked away in silos. To the extent the ONC regulation gets it unlocked and empowers providers to actually have the information they need to provide the best care for patients, that’s an awesome thing.

— Evan Grossman, Zus Health

It’s one thing to exchange data, it’s another thing to make sure that we’re adding value to use cases and adding value to providers. Info Blocking only gets us so far in doing that and we need to take it a step above that.

— Matt Becker, Kno2

I think it’s a great step forward, but it’s not doing enough. I want it to be where all electronic health information has to be given to the patient, or providers and other stakeholders in health care. Right now, it is only a certain set of actors and those named under the rule.

— Jennifer Blumenthal, OneRecord

The pandemic put a spotlight on a number of things. The main spotlight it put on is the need for interoperability and data reporting to public health. Some of the good things that came out of that is the EHR has really stepped up to help the health care providers. We came up with reports for reporting PPE, positivity rates, COVID testing, other supplies, staffing, vaccination entry—we did all of that—and we did it pretty quickly in order to meet the demand.

— Hoda Sayed-Friel, MEDITECH

We were very much in support of ONC getting the rule out as fast as possible. We need to share information, that’s what it’s all about. That’s the only way you can get a full, complete record of the patient where you need it, when you need it and enable the patient to look at their health record as well.

— Hans Buitendijk, Cerner

Ultimately, we’re going to have to see not just regulations, but an inherent desire from provider organizations to share the data because it’s good for them. It’s our job to make sure that people see the value of the data and are able to interact with it so they can see those improved outcomes, not just for the patient, but also for their own organizations.

— Ricky Sahu, 1upHealth