As part of ONC’s ongoing charge to coordinate across federal and industry stakeholders, we determined it was necessary to adjust our Standards Version Advancement Process (SVAP) timeline. Although it may seem like this process has been around for a while, it’s still brand new and we’ve been looking at ways to optimize how the process aligns with other standards development work in the community. The changes we’ve made will help ensure timely publication of implementation specifications central to our cadence for new versions of USCDI.
News & Updates
Astute readers of the Health IT Buzz Blog (are there any other kind?) and those familiar with ONC’s 21st Century Cures Act (Cures Act) rule will recall that we’ve talked a lot about the United States Core Data for Interoperability (USCDI). ONC’s Cures Act Final Rule adopted USCDI version 1 as a standard, thereby establishing a new baseline for the data elements required to be accessible through certified electronic health record (EHR) technology. Because it defines the floor of what’s available to be shared through certified EHRs, the USCDI is also the basic payload for nationwide and state/regional exchange networks and is the main driver of Health Level Seven International® Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources® standards development in the US. In effect, the USCDI has become the de facto minimum dataset of the health care delivery system.
New ONC research shows a more than 20% rise in the number of apps that integrate with certified electronic health records (EHRs).
A manuscript highlighting the findings of this research was recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association: “The Ecosystem of Apps and Software integrated with Certified Health Information Technology”. Our study analyzed apps that were discoverable in app galleries managed by EHR developers – Allscripts, athenahealth, Cerner Corporation and Epic Systems Corporation – as well as the SMART App Gallery. Specifically, ONC wanted to understand the growth of the app market, the variety of available app functions, how these apps connect to EHRs, and if the apps support the Health Level Seven® (HL7) Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources® (FHIR) standard.
When a family member, friend, or loved one develops an opioid addiction, few people know how to respond. Similarly, it is often difficult for healthcare providers to know how to best prevent, detect, and treat opioid use disorder, and almost every provider in the country has had encounters with patients experiencing addiction. As trusted guardians of their patients’ well-being, providers are exploring how to use technology to augment their experience, skill, and knowledge for improved care. Concurrent with technological innovation, more states have adopted policies intended to drive widespread adoption and use of technology such as prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs) to view patient medication histories and electronic prescribing of controlled substances (EPCS) to treat pain.
ONC awarded $73 million in cooperative agreements as part of its Public Health Informatics & Technology Workforce Development Program (PHIT Workforce Program). Announced earlier this year and funded through the American Rescue Plan, the program aims to strengthen U.S. public health information technology (IT) efforts, improve COVID-19 data collection, and increase representation of underrepresented communities within the public health IT workforce.