Healthcare IT Interoperability, EHR interoperability, Hospital Interoperability

Policy & Regulation News

The Week Ahead in Health IT Interoperability: Jan. 18-24

Final recommendations from the Certified Technology Comparison Task Force are due this week, while details of the "Open Data CHPL" emerge.

- This week in health IT interoperability will sharpen focus on the future of information technology (IT) product comparison. During a meeting of the Certified Technology Comparison Task (CTC) on Jan. 15, government officials gave an overview of the evolving “open data” version of the Certified Health IT Product List (CHPL) maintained by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC).

Week of Jan. 18-24 in health IT interoperability.

The new “Open Data CHPL” will debut in spring 2016, according to Scott Purnell-Saunders, senior advisor in the health IT certification program at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. A proposed release date will be announced in late February.

The updated CHPL will be mainly driven by enhanced search and will include API functionality enabling users to make data calls or queries, said Purnell-Saunders. Developers have also added the ability to compare certified functionality (e.g., select and view multiple products side-by-side).

Karson Mahler, JD, representing ONC’s Office of Policy, noted that requirements under the 2015 Edition certification final rule call for health IT products to undergo in-the-field surveillance to verify that capabilities work as expected. The Open Data CHPL will include details of product surveillance failures, which must be reported within one week of occurrence. Such reports will include an ONC summary of deficiencies and the developer’s corrective action timeline, along with description of the resolution.

Mahler also said the 2015 Edition final rule gives developers the opportunity to voluntarily pledge to proactively provide information about their products in more meaningful ways. This will help organizations that represent health IT purchasers (such as professional associations) to request information from developers to help them evaluate and compare products. The Open Data CHPL will include notation of which developers have taken the “transparency pledge.”

CTC — which heard from panels of providers and developers last week — will present its recommendations to a joint meeting of the Health IT Policy Committee and Health IT Standards Committee on Jan. 20.

For more details on the new Open Data CHPL, click here.

Also noteworthy this week:

eHealth Exchange update. The Sequoia Project's eHealth Exchange, which the organization describes as the largest health information exchange network in the United States, spans connections with four federal agencies (Department of Defense, Veterans Affairs, Health and Human Services and Social Security Administration), 40 percent of hospitals and 13,000 medical groups nationwide. An informational call on the eHealth Exchange's status will be held Jan. 22 at 2:00 p.m. EST. Click here to join the call.

Thoracic surgeons gather. The Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) holds its annual meeting Jan. 23-27 in Phoenix. This year’s meeting will de-emphasize continuing medical education, with a shift toward highlighting new devices and new techniques, but also showing attendees new ways of visualizing surgery, according to Shanda Blackmon, MD, who serves on the STS board. Emerging capabilities include “polygraphic projection of your case as you are getting ready to do it,” said Blackmon. Other presentations will inform surgeons on how to optimize their Internet presence and update them on the role of 3D printing in cardiothoracic surgery.

Gearing up for Connectathon event. The final push is on to prepare for IHE North American Connectathon week, which runs Jan. 25-29. The event’s central showcase is billed as “health IT’s largest standards-based interoperability testing event.” A special leadership session on Jan. 27 will feature speakers Michael McCoy, MD, chief health information officer at ONC, and Elliot Sloane, president of the Center for Healthcare Information Research and Policy. Also on the schedule are executives from Mount Sinai Hospital, Intermountain Healthcare and Texas Health Services. Non-profit IHE strives to drive adoption of standards-based interoperability. More than 550 engineers and IT architects are expected to participate.



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