What’s Happening at the ONC – 03-29-21

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) is at the forefront of the administration’s health IT efforts and is a resource to the entire health system to support the adoption of health information technology and the promotion of nationwide health information exchange to improve health care. ONC is organizationally located within the Office of the Secretary for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Here is what they are doing and reporting. Follow them @ONC_HealthIT. Sign up for their email updates.


ONC Annual Meeting 2021
When: March 29-30, 2021
Hashtag: #ONC2021
Register for this event.

ONC is hiring, attend this webinar tomorrow!

Health IT Advisory Committee
Thursday, 04/15/2021, 9:30 AM

News and Announcements

New Information Blocking FAQs Available
ONC issued two new Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on information blocking. One addresses existing contracts and the other discusses delay as interference. ONC issued these new FAQs to address stakeholder questions about the information blocking regulations and will continue to make resources available to educate and improve stakeholders’ understanding of the information blocking regulations. The applicability date for information blocking is April 5, 2021. View Information Blocking FAQ page.

Recording Available: Learn more about the Draft USCDI v2 and SVAP
The recording and presentation slides are now available for the informational webinar ONC hosted last week, on ONC’s Draft USCDI v2 and SVAP. Speakers discussed ONC’s Draft United States Core Data for Interoperability (USCDI) Version 2, the Standards Versions Advancement Process (SVAP) flexibility for ONC-Certified Health IT, and commonly asked questions related to these topics. Watch the Recording.

Now Available for ONC Certification: SVAP Approved Versions for 2020
The Standards Version Advancement Process (SVAP) Approved Versions for 2020 are now available in the ONC Health IT Certification Program. The SVAP allows health IT developers the flexibility to voluntarily update their certified health IT to include newer versions of adopted standards used in the Program. Learn More About the SVAP.

Synthetic Health Data Challenge Now in Phase II
Phase II of ONC’s Synthetic Health Data Challenge, part of the Synthetic Health Data Generation to Accelerate Patient-Centered Outcomes Research project, launched March 23rd. Phase II participants will now operationalize their proposals by creating prototypes or solutions that demonstrate novel uses of SyntheaTM generated data for research and technology development or that develop or enhance Synthea modules or address Synthea limitations. Learn More.

LEAP in Health IT SEN
ONC published a special emphasis notice (SEN) under the Leading Edge Acceleration Projects (LEAP) in Health IT notice of funding opportunity. The goal of this notice is to advance health IT standards and tools to improve the electronic exchange of social determinants of health data. Watch the recorded presentation from the information session webinar held on 3/9 to learn more. Read More About LEAP in Health IT. Watch the Leap in Health IT SEN Webinar.

ONC Health IT Certification Program New Resource Available
The ONC Health IT Certification Program has released a new fact sheet for Real World Testing requirements of the ONC Cures Act Final Rule. The fact sheet describes Real World Testing requirements for Health IT Developers participating in the ONC Health IT Certification Program. This resource will assist the Health IT Developer community in understanding how the requirements outlined in the ONC 21st Century Cures Act Final Rule apply to them and provide a practical overview of the Real World Testing Condition and Maintenance of Certification requirements. View the Fact Sheet.

ONC Partners with ACI on Special Section on Workflow Automation
ONC is partnering with Applied Clinical Informatics (ACI) on a special section of the AMIA and IMIA eJournal focusing on workflow automation. The special section, guest edited by National Coordinator Dr. Don Rucker and ONC Chief Scientist Teresa Zayas-Caban, will feature a diverse range of submissions and demonstrations from academic and healthcare organizations and industry partners. Interested authors can submit articles between now and June of 2021 with manuscripts published online as they are ready. Submission information is available from ACI. For more information about health IT workflow automation policy development, please visit ONC’s project page. Learn more.

ONC announces new initiative, Project US@
To start in 2021, ONC has agreed to develop a unified specification for address in health care. This project will be a collaboration with Health Level 7 (HL7), the National Council for Prescription Drug Programs (NCPDP), and X12 (along with the other standards development organizations and members of the Health Standards Collaborative.) The goal of the project is to issue a unified, cross-SDO, health care industry-wide specification for representing address within the year.

Now Available: Experiences from Sync for Science Pilot Project Participants
ONC published a brief describing experiences of participants from the Sync for Science (S4S) pilot project. The pilot project supported health IT developers and provider organizations in developing and implementing capabilities to enable patient-directed data sharing through APIs. The S4S pilot project demonstrated how individuals can share health data with researchers through APIs and how volunteers can submit health data to the NIH All of Us Research Program. Read the brief.


Health Records

New Data Briefs

New Pediatric Resource Available
ONC recently released the Pediatric Health Information Technology: Pediatric Healthcare Provider Informational Resource (Healthcare Provider IR) to support the implementation of health IT products used by clinicians that provide healthcare for children. The Developer and Healthcare Provider IRs identify ONC’s ten recommendations for health IT for pediatric care, relevant certification criteria within the ONC Health IT Certification Program, and other information to support the implementation of health IT products to support the safe and effective healthcare of children. Learn more.

Updates to the SRA Tool
ONC, in partnership with the HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR) recently released an update to the HHS Security Risk Assessment (SRA) Tool. This tool provides support for small- and medium-sized health care organizations in their efforts to assess security risks. This enhanced version of the SRA Tool includes a variety of new features like improved navigation throughout the assessment sections, export options for reports, and enhanced user interface scaling. Download SRA Tool.

New Resources to Address the Privacy and Security of Health Data Used in Research
ONC has released the final report of the Privacy and Security Framework for Patient-Centered Outcomes Research (PCOR) project. The report highlights a framework and resources that support the responsible use of health data for PCOR. Learn more about how these resources can support stakeholders as they navigate the complexities of sharing health data for research and better protect patient data in the final report. Read the Final Report.

ONC’s Cures Act Final Rule Webinars & Resources
As of June 30, 2020, ONC’s 21st Century Cures Act Final Rule is effective. Please visit 21st Century Cures Act: Interoperability, Information Blocking, and the ONC Health IT Certification Program, for detailed information about the rule. ONC recently completed a series of question-and-answer webinars on ONC’s Cures Act Final Rule. All webinars were recorded. Visit the Cures Rule website to view all the webinar recordings, slide presentations, and resources about the Final Rule.

Tools and Resources for the Health IT Community
To support HHS’s ongoing response efforts to the outbreak of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), ONC is partnering with the CDC to direct the health IT community and healthcare providers to various resources for reporting and tracking of coronavirus disease or COVID-19. Visit HealthIT.gov for more.


From the Health IT Buzz Blog – Learn more about HHS’s Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC). Check out the latest blog posts:

Spotlighting Interoperability Proving Ground Programs

The Interoperability Proving Ground (IPG) is an open, community platform where you can share, learn, and be inspired by interoperability projects taking place across the nation. ONC is asking those working on COVID-19 interoperability projects to share your project on the IPG and tag it with #COVID-19. We’re reviewing every entry to identify opportunities for connection and collaboration among the community on these critical efforts.

The Interoperability Proving Ground (IPG) Spotlight project of the week is: A HIPAA Compliant, Interdisciplinary Collaboration Tool for Front-Line Clinicians: TrekIT – Created by clinicians for clinicians at Penn Medicine, TrekIT is a HIPAA compliant clinical workflow tool that was built to enable seamless team-based collaboration across every provider in every setting and requires no IT resources to deploy. To support the medical community during this time of extreme strain, we are offering TrekIT free of charge to our colleagues on the front-lines.

Learn how your interoperability project can be featured as an IPG Spotlight by visiting the Interoperability Proving Ground (IPG). Once a project is submitted or updated, projects will automatically be added to the feature queue to be randomly selected as a featured project.

ONC Interoperability Pledge

Companies that provide 90 percent of electronic health records used by hospitals nationwide as well as the top five largest health care systems in the country have agreed to implement three core commitments: Consumer Access, No Blocking/Ensuring Transparency, and Standards. The ONC (@ONC_HealthIT) wants vendors to sign a pledge. Is your vendor pledging? Find out who is on the list.