What’s Happening at the ONC – 3-20-20

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.


From This Just In, host Justin Barnes, aka @HITAdvisor was in his Atlanta studio talking to healthcare leaders and health IT thought leaders. On this episode he talked to the ONC’s National Coordinator Dr. Don Rucker, Deputy National Coordinator Steven Posnack, Exec. Dir. Elise Sweeney Anthony, JD, and Privacy Officer Kathryn Marchesini, JD on the ONC’s Cures Act Final Rule. Take a listen.


Implementing the Cures Act — Bringing Consumer Computing to Health Care
Dr. Don Rucker penned an op/ed that is currently featured in the New England Journal of Medicine. He has written about ONC’s work to enable patients’ access to and use of their own medical information in an economy providing novel services and new choices for care. Read more at NEJM.org.

21st Century Cures Act Test Procedures
ONC’s Cures Act Final Rule made several changes to the existing 2015 Edition Health IT Certification Criteria. The final rule introduced a small number of new certification criteria, revised several existing certification criteria, and removed several certification criteria. These changes constitute the 2015 Edition Cures Update. View more on HealthIT.gov.

Webinar Recording Now Available
You can now view last week’s overview webinar and presentation slides on ONC’s Cures Act Final Rule. The recording and slides from this week’s Information Blocking webinar will be available in the coming days.

Draft 2020-2025 Federal Health IT Strategic Plan Public Comment Period Extended
The public comment period on the draft 2020-2025 Federal Health IT Strategic Plan has been extended to April 3, 2020 at 11:59 pm ET. The draft plan defines a set of goals, objectives, and strategies the federal government will pursue to empower patients, deliver high-quality care, and improve health for individuals, families, and communities through the use of health IT. Comment by April 3!

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.

Careers at ONC
The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) is seeking an Economist to join their team.

Security Risk Assessment Tool Update

Key Takeaways from the ONC 2020 Annual Meeting
Did you miss the headlines from ONC’s 10th Annual Meeting? If so, they have compiled a list of the major themes from this year’s meeting. The event hosted more than 1,200 stakeholders and focused on the importance of patients’ access to health information, privacy concerns, health care cost transparency, health IT standards, and what these topics look like from different perspectives. All plenary sessions and keynote messages from the Annual Meeting are available via webcast. Presentations from breakout sessions will be available on HealthIT.gov soon.

Health IT Advisory Committee Task Forces
The Health IT Advisory Committee (HITAC) launched four task forces to review and provide recommendations on ONC’s proposed rule. The task forces include: Information Blocking, Conditions and Maintenance of Certification Requirements, Health IT for the Care Continuum and U.S. Core Data for Interoperability. The task forces are expected to conduct reviews and provide recommendations over the next two months. Follow the Task Forces


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:

ONC Has the Data
Close to 50 original data briefs that provide information about current topics in health IT are available on HealthIT.gov. These reports summarize national-level data analyses, providing readers with easy to understand graphics, key takeaways, and policy discussions. Check out ONC’s Data Briefs.


Health IT Advisory Committee Meeting
The next Health IT Advisory Committee Meeting will be held Wednesday, April 15, 2020.

4th Interoperability Forum

Spotlighting Interoperability Proving Ground Programs

The Interoperability Proving Ground (IPG) Spotlight project of the week is: Increasing Early Detection of Youth Behavioral Risk, Improving Care Delivery and Addressing Suicide in Primary Care Settings – High-profile catastrophes and humbling prevalence of suicides have prompted widespread national acknowledgement of the disturbing scope of the suicide epidemic. National, federal and professional representatives mobilized to take action by funding the development of a long-term, collaborative tragedy prevention strategy. In 2008, the Garrett Lee Smith (GLS) Youth Suicide Prevention in Primary Care program was established and awarded by the United States Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Agency (SAMHSA) to screen and address comprehensive behavioral risks, inclusive of suicide, in primary-care venues amongst youth ages 14-24.

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.