What’s Happening at the ONC – 09-13-21

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.


NEW Webinar: What Healthcare Providers Need to Know About Information Sharing & the Information Blocking Regulation
When: Tuesday, September 14, 2021 1:00 pm ET
Register for this event.

ONC supports secure, appropriate sharing of electronic health information. Information sharing leads to more affordable and equitable care and improves care quality. Join them for the first in a series of clinician-focused webinars on ONC’s Cures Act Final Rule. ONC experts will explain how the rule supports secure, appropriate sharing of electronic health information and how information sharing leads to more affordable and equitable care and improved care quality. Hear answers to questions such as:

  • What is information blocking and why should I care?
  • Why is information sharing so important?
  • What information needs to be shared and with whom?
  • What are the allowable exceptions and when do they apply?

Note: If you’re unable to join the live presentation, you can still register to receive a link to access a recording of the of the webcast.

THIS WEEK: 2021 ONC Tech Forum

Highlights from September 10th

Health IT Advisory Committee
Thursday, 10/13/2021, 9:30 AM

News and Announcements

New Data Brief Released
ONC released a data brief describing the that challenges hospitals experienced when electronically reporting to public health agencies and how these challenges varied by state and hospital characteristics. In 2019, seven in ten hospitals experienced one or more challenges related to public health reporting. Results indicate that public health reporting challenges disproportionately affected small, rural, independent, and Critical Access hospitals. Read the Data Brief.

Help Refine the EHR Reporting Program Developer Measures
ONC contracted with the Urban Institute and its subcontractor, HealthTech Solutions, to develop draft EHR Reporting Program developer measures. The Urban Institute is seeking public input on the draft measures and on several cross-cutting topics such as the frequency and granularity of reporting options, lookback periods, and the burden of reporting. Please review the materials on Urban Institute website and submit feedback by September 14, 2021.

Final Draft of Qualified Health Information Network Technical Framework is Now Available for Feedback
The Sequoia Project, selected by ONC as the Recognized Coordinating Entity to support the implementation of TEFCA, recently published a draft of the Qualified Health Information Network Technical Framework for stakeholder feedback by September 17, 2021. Publication of the QTF is another important milestone in achieving exchange of health data under the Common Agreement. The RCE hosted a two-part webinar series to review the framework and have an in-depth discussion. Missed it? Check out the recording and the presentation slides.

Opportunity Trifecta: 3 Feedback Periods Now Open
Public feedback periods are open for the Interoperability Standards Advisory (ISA), Standards Version Advancement Process (SVAP), and the Draft United States Core Data for Interoperability Version 3 (USCDI v3). All three feedback periods are open and your feedback is encouraged by September 30, 2021. Read to learn more.

The ONC wants to hear from you about the SRA Tool
ONC and OCR seek feedback and improvement suggestions from Security Risk Assessment (SRA) Tool users by September 30, 2021. The SRA Tool is designed to help healthcare providers conduct a security risk assessment as required by the HIPAA Security Rule and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service Promoting Interoperability Program. Submit Feedback.

United States Core Data for Interoperability Version 2 Published
The United States Core Data for Interoperability v2 (USCDI v2) is now available. USCDI v2 has new data classes and elements that will support the sharing of gender identity, sexual orientation, social determinants of health, and other data in health IT. The USCDI helps to standardize data elements, providing a roadmap for health IT developers to build products and solutions that can help improve health outcomes at both the individual and population level. Check Out USCDI v2. Download the latest version.

Standards Bulletin Provides Insights into USCDI Version 2
Check out the latest issue of ONC’s Standards Bulletin for insights into the USCDI v2. This edition should help you understand USCDI v2’s new data elements that will help advance health equity with the inclusion of sexual orientation, gender identity, and social determinants of health data elements. Additionally, it describes ONC’s vision for the future expansion of USCDI through Version 3, and how you can engage and make an impact!

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.


Health Records

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.

Missed a Session? The SDOH Workshop Recordings are Available Online Now
All of the sessions from the Advancing Social Determinants of Health Data Use and Interoperability for Achieving Health Equity workshop can be viewed online. Did you miss a session, or do you want to watch one again? Watch the Recordings.

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.