ONC Aims for Health Care IT Interoperability
Health IT advancements mean there is a growing demand for interoperability that not only supports the care continuum, but supports health generally.By 2024, individuals, care providers, communities and researchers should have an array of interoperable health IT products and services that allow the health care system to continuously learn and advance the goal of improved health care, according to a report from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC). One of the near-term priorities involves improving the interoperability of existing health information networks, and scaling existing approaches for fluidly exchanging health information across vendor platforms to support a broad array of transitions of care and public health. This year, the ONC will build on its existing governance framework and principles to ensure individual access, privacy, transparency, responsible financial and business practices, and use of federal standards to support health information exchange. As needed, the ONC will identify the "rules of the road" necessary for information to flow efficiently across networks and will transition to a governance approach for health information exchange that will likely involve both policy and collaboration across industry, government and consumer representatives.
Already, more than one-half of office-based professionals and more than eight in 10 hospitals are meaningfully using electronic health records (EHRs), which will require them to electronically exchange standardized patient information to support safe care transitions.