What’s Happening at the ONC – 06-21-21

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.


Health IT Advisory Committee
Wednesday, 07/14/2021, 9:30 AM

Save The Date! – 2021 ONC Virtual Tech Forum –  September 16-17, 2021

News and Announcements

ONC to Launch Public Health Informatics & Technology (PHIT) Workforce Development Program
As part of the American Rescue Plan, ONC has been awarded $80 million for training, certification, and degree programs in public health informatics and data science at minority serving institutions. Under the program, ONC supports additional training of 4,000 individuals already working in health information technology through an interdisciplinary approach in public health informatics and technology. The program will help to ensure these training, certification, and degree programs are sustainable to create a continuous pipeline of diverse public health IT professionals and work toward closing gaps in public health reporting and data analysis. By building this important foundation in health informatics the nation will be better prepared to respond to future pandemics and other disasters. The funding opportunity will open in late spring to early summer. Stay tuned for more. View ONC Funding Announcements.

ONC Releases New Data Brief on Electronic Health Record (EHR) and Patient Access
Patients continue to use electronic health records in larger numbers to make decisions about their health care, according to new data brief released by ONC. This influx comes as more and more hospitals make patient data available both in online portals and easy-to-use mobile apps. Check out the new data brief: “Hospital Capabilities to Enable Patient Electronic Access to Health Information, 2019.” Read the Brief.

Help ONC Define Health Interoperability Outcomes for the Next Decade
Have you submitted your interoperability outcomes yet? ONC wants to hear from you as part of its recently announced “Health Interoperability Outcomes 2030” effort. Submissions can be made through July 30, 2021 by visiting HealthIT.gov or by sharing with ONC on Twitter using #HealthInterop2030.

Cures Rule

New ONC Standards Bulletin Issue Available!
This issue focuses on health IT’s ability to capture a patient’s race and ethnicity using standardized terminology and codes included in the ONC certification criterion. Capturing race and ethnicity data will help efforts to identify and eliminate health disparities and to improve patient care. Read the Latest ONC Standards Bulletin 2021-2.

Social Determinants of Health were a Common Theme at the 2021 ONC Annual Meeting
SDOH were a recurring theme throughout the sessions at this year’s ONC Annual Meeting. A Health IT Buzz Blog post highlights a panel of health information exchange experts from around the country who discussed the challenges, progress, and key takeaways in integrating SDOH data with patients’ electronic health records. Watch Annual Meeting Sessions On-Demand.

Recording Available: Learn more about the Draft USCDI v2 and SVAP
The recording and presentation slides from the March 18 ONC Draft USCDI v2 and SVAP informational webinar are now available. 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.

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.


Health Records

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.