ONC unveils 10-year plan for healthcare interoperability

Dan Bowman | FierceHealthIT | June 5, 2014

By 2024, the national health IT infrastructure and data standards will evolve to support robust information sharing and aggregation, creating a “continuous learning” environment for care, according to an ONC paper published today.

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT outlined a 10-year plan to develop an interoperable health IT ecosystem that can simultaneously improve population health, boost patient engagement and lower costs.

The agency shared a set of five “critical building blocks” for achieving its goals, while also revealing its expectations for three, six and 10 years down the road.

National Coordinator for Health IT Karen DeSalvo, at the Patient Privacy Rights Summit in the District of Columbia on June 4, talked about the importance of getting feedback from multiple stakeholders for the paper, published in the wake of ONC’s recently announced realignment, which aims to streamline processes as federal funding dries up.

“Though at ONC we have set interoperability to connect care and information on behalf of patients and consumers as a high priority … I want to make sure that it’s clear to folks that we didn’t do that in our box at Humphrey,” DeSalvo said. “We spent the first few months doing quite a bit of informal … and formal environmental scans, looking for what kinds of writings, letters, comments we were receiving from our stakeholders of all walks.”

While the current health system has the capability to capture data at rest and in silos, DeSalvo said, to really make it powerful, it needs to be able to move safely and securely for the benefit of people.

“Interoperability … is so complex,” she said. “It requires all of us to have some shared responsibility thinking through how we’re going to get there in a way that meets everyone’s needs and expectations.”

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Apple and Epic: A privacy disaster? — DeSalvo introduces interoperability roadmap — We stand amended

ASHLEY GOLD | POLITICO’s Morning eHealth | 06/05/14 10:01 AM EDT

APPLE + EPIC ARE PAIRING UP TO TAKE YOUR HEALTH DATA: eHealth’s David Pittman takes a look at the Apple HealthKit announcement and what it means for patient privacy in an article coming out later today. Pretty perfect timing-we’re at the Health Privacy Summit this week, where the topic of who owns patient data and how to protect it is present in everyone’s mind. “Patient privacy watchdogs raised questions regarding privacy and data collection with health apps in Apple’s new operating system, worrying it could usher in a new era of trampled privacy rights…Privacy laws that govern what doctors and hospitals can and cannot do with patient information don’t apply to mobile health apps, meaning they are largely free to sell and disseminate the information collected.” Stay tuned for the full story coming this morning for Pros.

DOES DESALVO KNOW THE WAY…TO INTEROPERABILITY? The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT is preparing a vision paper on how it hopes to achieve the interoperability of electronic health records, the office’s head, Karen DeSalvo, said Wednesday at the Health Privacy Summit. In addition to outlining ONC’s thoughts, the paper “will be an invitation to folks to come to the table to talk through how we can get there,” DeSalvo said. An ONC spokeswoman said ONC hopes to release the paper later this week.

THIS MORNING, I’m headed to Georgetown Law Center to catch some more of the Health Privacy Summit, which @David_Pittman checked out Wednesday. I’m interested in the privacy debate “That Individuals Should Maintain Their Own Health Data” between the chief privacy officer of IMS Health and a senior associate at Consumer Action. Are people too disengaged or lazy to own their own health data? We shall see.

To view the full article, please visit Apple and Epic: A privacy disaster? — DeSalvo introduces interoperability roadmap — We stand amended