October 6, 2015
HHS publishes a roadmap to advance health information sharing and transform care
The Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) today released the final Connecting Health and Care for the Nation: A Shared Nationwide Interoperability Roadmap (Roadmap).
The Roadmap coordinates public and private sector efforts to advance the safe and secure exchange of electronic health information across the country to improve individual, community and population health. It defines a path forward to improve our health care system through the use of interoperable health information technology, including a focus on person-centered and self-managed care and the overall improvement of health care outcomes.
“We have made important progress in making health records available to patients and shareable among their doctors,” said HHS Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell. “Today, we are taking another important step forward by releasing a comprehensive strategy to engage government partners and the private sector to develop a network where health information can be safely and securely accessed from different sources. This shift will put patients at the center of their health care, improve the quality of the services they receive and advance safety overall.”
“This Roadmap has been developed in partnership with the private sector and provides a clear, strategic approach to see that we successfully achieve seamless interoperability by creating the right financial incentives, establishing shared and explicit standards, and developing a trusted environment for data flow that enables patients to make their health records accessible anywhere they choose to seek care,” said Karen B. DeSalvo, M.D., M.P.H., M.Sc., national coordinator for health IT.
The Roadmap follows months of comment and feedback from hundreds of health and health IT experts from across the nation through ONC advisory group feedback, listening sessions, and an online forum.
The final product identifies near-term, mid-term, and long-term goals to catalyze collaboration among public and private stakeholders to achieve the interoperability.
- 2015-2017: Send, receive, find and use priority data domains to improve health care quality and outcomes.
- 2018-2020: Expand data sources and users in the interoperable health IT ecosystem to improve health and lower cost.
- 2021-2024: Achieve nationwide interoperability to enable a learning health system, with the person at the center of a system that can continuously improve care, public health, and science through real-time data access.
To achieve this vision, the Roadmap focuses deeply on the near-term priority goal and its accompanying milestones, calls to action, and commitments to make immediate progress and impact with respect to interoperability.
- Improve technical standards and implementation guidance for priority data domains and associated elements. In the near-term, the Roadmap focuses on using commonly available standards, while pushing for greater implementation consistency and innovation associated with new standards and technology approaches, such as the use of application programming interfaces (APIs).
- Rapidly shift and align federal, state, and commercial payment policies from fee-for-service to value-based models to stimulate the demand for interoperability.
- Clarify and seek alignment of federal and state privacy and security requirements that enable interoperability.
- Coordinate among stakeholders to promote and align consistent policies and business practices that support interoperability and address those that impede interoperability, in coordination with stakeholders.
Together, the public and private-sectors can transform health care by developing policy, programs and products to liberate the data stored in various health information technology tools. This will help ensure consumers have access to their own health data so that in addition to treating disease and illness, individuals and families are empowered to invest in and manage their overall health in partnership with their health care professionals, leading to better health and care across the country throughout communities where people live, work, play and learn.
The Roadmap builds on the vision paper, Connecting Health and Care for the Nation: A 10-Year Vision to Achieve an Interoperable Health IT Infrastructure that was issued in June 2014. It also emphasizes the need to build on the technology and investments made to date, while continuing to seek out ways to support innovation and move beyond EHRs as the sole data source to a wide range of health information technologies used by individuals, providers, and researchers.
For more information on the Roadmap or other ONC’s programs, please visit www.healthit.gov.
For statements of support, please visit www.healthit.gov.