What’s Happening at the ONC – 7-17-20

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.

ONC’s 21st Century Cures Act Rule Effective
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’s Cures Act Final Rule Webinars & Resources
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.

Reminder: 2014 Edition Retired
ONC’s 21st Century Cures Act Final Rule retires the 2014 Edition from ONC’s Health IT Certification Program as of the rule effective date, June 30, 2020. This includes all 2014 Edition certification criteria and related standards, terms, and requirements, which will be removed from the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). Visit HealthIT.gov for additional guidance.

Please note: any developers who were only certified to the 2014 Edition and had not yet updated to the 2015 Edition prior to June 30, 2020, are no longer considered active under ONC’s Health IT Certification Program.


When: Tuesday, July 21, 2020  12:00 – 1:00 pm ET
Register for this event.

TEFCA RCE Monthly Informational Call – The Recognized Coordinating Entity (RCE) will host a public informational call as an opportunity to share information about the progress to-date. An anticipated agenda will be shared in advance each month. This meeting will also provide stakeholders an opportunity to share their support, questions, and ideas.

Important Update:
The July 21st meeting will serve as a public, stakeholder feedback meeting regarding the Common Agreement and QHIN Metrics & Operational Reporting.

This stakeholder feedback session will provide the RCE an opportunity to share information about the progress and direction of the Common Agreement development specifically related to the Additional Required Terms and Conditions (ARTCs) and QHIN Metrics and Operational Reporting, and provide prospective QHINs and other interested stakeholders an opportunity to express their support for specific ideas, or concerns that the RCE staff should bear in mind when developing the next iterations.

The ONC Interoperability Forum is now the Tech Forum!
Join ONC for an all-virtual Tech Forum August 10-11, 2020. Convening industry and federal experts, the Tech Forum continues the summertime tradition we started with the Interoperability Forum three years ago. This event will focus on the use of technology in healthcare with a combination of keynotes, panel discussions, and breakout sessions all delivered to you through an interactive virtual platform. Register for this event.


Soliciting Input on Patient Identity and Matching
Recognizing it as a continuing substantial patient safety issue, ONC is investigating strategies to improve patient identity and matching. Stakeholder input and insight into existing challenges and promising innovations will inform ONC’s report to Congress on technical and operational methods that improve patient identity and matching. They invite all stakeholders to submit comments by September 18, 2020. Read More.

Health IT Playbook

New Data Brief Available
ONC released new data on the methods substance abuse treatment centers used to manage health information in 2017. More than half of centers nationwide used a combination of both electronic and paper methods to store and exchange client health information, and 3in 10 centers used only electronic methods. View the complete brief, Variation in Methods for Health Information Management among U.S. Substance Abuse Treatment Centers.

EHR Reporting Program: Request for Comment
The 21st Century Cures Act called on ONC to create an EHR Reporting Program to provide publicly available, comparative information about certified health IT. Recently, the Urban Institute published a draft set of voluntary user-reported criteria on their website for public feedback. The 60-day public feedback period closes on August 10, 2020. Review the draft criteria and provide feedback to inform the final set of voluntary user-reported criteria. Review the draft criteria.

Using Real-World Data to Advance Patient-Centered Outcomes Research
ONC recently released the results from the Coordinated Registry Network for Women’s Health Technologies project, a collaborative effort to enable researchers to generate real-world evidence using data that address some women’s health issues. Coordinated registry networks (CRNs) enable research across clinical registries to study multiple interventions and play an important role in advancing patient-centered outcomes research. Read the final report to learn more about lessons learned from developing and testing the Women’s Health Technologies CRN FHIR® Implementation Guide.

New Recording Available
On June 1, ONC hosted a virtual working session to provide input and insight into existing challenges and promising innovations in patient identity and matching. The recording is now available.

New Infographic Available – What is the HITAC?
Learn about the Health Information Technology Advisory Committee (HITAC) through a recently released infographic showcasing the history and significant highlights of the HITAC to date. The HITAC is composed of 32 volunteers who make recommendations to the National Coordinator of Health IT regarding implementation of the 21st Century Cures Act. Those recommendations include ones related to implementation of the ONC Cures Act Final Rule and Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement.

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


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:

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

Advancing the Collection and Use of Patient-Reported Outcomes through Health Information Technology – Patient-reported outcome (PRO) measures can help improve patient care, but how do we standardize the exchange and integration of PRO data into health information technology? The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) developed and pilot-tested an implementation guide using Health Level Seven International® Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources®, which establishes the specification to support collecting, exchanging, and integrating PRO data in real time in healthcare settings. Read more about the PRO project in the final report.

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, September 9, 2020.

Spotlighting Interoperability Proving Ground Programs

The Interoperability Proving Ground (IPG) Spotlight project of the week is: Michigan Health Information Network Shared Services (MiHIN) COVID-19 Response in Michigan – Michigan Health Information Network Shared Services (MiHIN) has been leading the way in various efforts surrounding the secure exchange of health information for a decade. Our focus has always been, and always will be, the residents of Michigan. With the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been our mission over the past several weeks to amplify our efforts in the best way possible to reduce burdens on our medical communities and lead statewide efforts to increase efficiency for sharing data, accessing data across care givers, and reduce burdens on physicians and those on the front line. Together, with Michigan Department of Health & Human Services, we have accomplished a great deal in a short amount of time.

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.