What’s Happening at the ONC – 11-08-21

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, 11/10/2021, 9:30 AM

ONC Provider Information Sharing Webinar
Wednesday, November 17, 2021 1:30 – 2:30 pm ET
Register for the Webinar

Join them for the next webinar in ONC’s clinician-focused webinar series on information sharing and the information blocking regulation. ONC experts will explain how ONC 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 electronic health information (EHI)?
  • Why does information sharing matter and how does it empower health care providers?
  • What are allowable exceptions and when do they apply?
  • What is the process for reporting potential information blocking and what happens after it is reported?

News and Announcements

ONC Announces Continued Collaboration with the Gravity Project
ONC is excited to announce their renewed collaboration with the Gravity Project under the FHIR Accelerator Program to support pilot testing of the newly published Social Determinants of Health Clinical Care Implementation Guide. With support from many stakeholders, four new SDOH data elements were included in the United States Core Data for Interoperability Version 2. This collaboration offers the opportunity to work with various stakeholders to provide testing of the newly added data elements in real world settings.

SVAP Comment Period Extended until May 2, 2022
The deadline for comments on the Standards Version Advancement Process (SVAP) timeline has been extended to May 2, 2022. The current SVAP comment period was originally slated to end on September 30, 2021. This timeline will align important standards development activities with the yearly release of new United States Core Data for Interoperability (USCDI) versions. Beginning with the current (2021) SVAP and continuing into future years, ONC will announce annual approved standards for SVAP in June to be effective in August. The June SVAP announcement and August effective date will be supported by a comment period from January to May each year. Comment today.

New Data Brief: Individuals’ Access and Use of Patient Portals and Smartphone Health Apps, 2020
ONC released a new brief, Individuals’ Access and Use of Patient Portals and Smartphone Health Apps, 2020, that provides new statistics on the electronic methods individuals use to access their patient portal. Read the Data Brief.

The 2021 ONC Tech Forum
The presentations from both days of the 2021 ONC Tech Forum are available on-demand! If you missed any sessions you can check out the recordings to hear industry perspectives about progress being made in health IT over the past year, and how we can continue to advance health technology to improve patient care, health equity, data exchange, and interoperability. Watch On-Demand.

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.


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.

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.