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ONC releases 10-year interoperability roadmap


The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT released an updated draft of its 10-year plan to achieve a national, interoperable health IT platform.

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) released an updated draft of its 10-year plan to achieve a national, interoperable health IT platform.

Getting there will not be an easy feat, and according to the report, “unprecedented collaboration is necessary” among federal, state and private health IT stakeholders.

The ONC released a paper about its interoperability vision earlier this year, and its new roadmap builds upon that initial outline.

READ: ONC unveils proposal for health IT interoperability

Erica Galvez, ONC’s interoperability and exchange portfolio manager, presented the updated version at the Joint HIT Policy and Standards Committee meeting. She said interoperability is a means to several ends: reducing healthcare costs, providing higher quality care, and improving population health.

“Interoperability is about people,” Galvez says. “At the end of the day, it’s about technology supporting the decisions that people make with regards to their health.”

The roadmap outlines the ONC’s goals through the course of 10 years.

  • By 2017, providers will be able to send, receive, find and use a basic set of essential health information.

  • By 2020, granular health information will be accessible to providers. There will be more sources and users of that health information, and healthcare quality will improve, while costs decrease.

  • By 2024, the ONC expects to have broad access to longitudinal information; reduced time from information evidence to practice; ubiquitous precision medicine; and virtuous learning cycle.

Next: The ONC's plan has nine guiding principles


The ONC’s plan has nine guiding principles:

  • Build upon existing health IT infrastructure

  • One size does not fit all

  • Empower individuals

  • Leverage the market

  • Simplify

  • Maintain modularity

  • Consider the current environment and support multiple levels of advancement

  • Focus on value

  • Protect privacy and security in all aspect of interoperability

Glavez described the ONC’s roadmap as a living document. “It should be final enough that folks can invest confidence in the decision and direction,” she says. “But it still has to allow us opportunity to evaluate our progress and our success and course-correct when we need to.”

An updated version of the roadmap will be available for public comment beginning in January 2015, and the ONC plans to release version 1.0 of the roadmap in March 2015.

In an exclusive interview with Medical Economics earlier this year, National Coordinator for Health IT Karen B. DeSalvo, MD, MPH, MSc, said, “My goal is that we set a path together and a road map so that everyone can be brought along. At the end of 10 years, this country will have built an interconnected data and communications system. In the next three years, we have to get the basic infrastructure, the fundamentals in place.”

READ: Medical Economics’ exclusive interview with ONC’s Karen DeSalvo

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