ONC seeks input on draft 2016 interoperability advisory

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) is seeking public comments on the draft 2016 Interoperability Standards Advisory

Speaking at the September Health IT Policy Committee meeting, Interoperability Task Force Chair Paul Tang, MD, said the timing is right for a stronger interoperability effort because there is now a plan, motivation, incentives and the data for national interoperability. “We need the convening power of the government to spur collective action and enduring private sector business interests to sustain the effort.”

The task force also called for the development and measurement of HIE-sensitive outcomes for public reporting and payment. There is a need for transparent measures of vendor performance including the number of exchanges of external data, percentage of external data elements viewed and percentage of external data elements incorporated/reconciled, they said.

The draft 2016 Advisory represents feedback ONC received from public comment on the 2015 Interoperability Standards Advisory as well as many of the recommendations from the HIT Standards Committee, according to the announcement of its release.

"The Interoperability Standards Advisory process represents the model by which the ONC will coordinate the identification, assessment, and determination of the 'best available' interoperability standards and implementation specifications for industry use to fulfill specific clinical health IT interoperability needs," read the statement. "The 2016 Advisory remains focused on clinical health information technology interoperability.

"We need your input to improve this draft 2016 Advisory."

The comment period will be open for 45 days, ending on Friday, Nov. 6.  Public comments will be used to update this draft in order to publish a final 2016 Advisory by the end of 2015.