The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology is looking for stakeholder feedback on its 10-year vision for achieving a nationwide interoperable health IT infrastructure.

Toward that end, ONC is launching a new, interactive community on its website to gather public input on an interoperability roadmap that will serve as a companion document to ONC’s 13-page vision paper released in June. However, the interoperability roadmap will “dive deeper” on how to achieve the 3, 6, and 10-year interoperability milestones described in the paper.

“The interoperability community is intended to give everyone an opportunity to provide input on the most critical elements of the roadmap, allows for comments and feedback and includes specific questions that need to be addressed,” states a blog from National Coordinator for Health IT Karen DeSalvo, M.D., and Erica Galvez, ONC’s interoperability and exchange portfolio manager. “We invite you to become part of the community, respond to some or all of the questions in a manner you prefer, and even subscribe to receive updates when others post their input and feedback.”

By 2024, ONC envisions an array of interoperable health IT products and services that allow the healthcare system to continuously learn and advance the goal of improved healthcare. This “learning health system” described in ONC’s vision paper is meant to lower healthcare costs, improve population health, empower consumers, and drive innovation.

The paper also lays out five critical building blocks for a nationwide interoperable health IT infrastructure: core technical standards and functions; certification to support adoption and optimization of health IT products and services; privacy and security protections for health information; supportive business, clinical, and regulatory environments; and rules of engagement and governance.

“To ensure this nationwide roadmap represents the needs and interests of the nation, we need to hear from a broad array of stakeholders and their perspectives,” state DeSalvo and Galvez.  “We have several efforts underway to gather feedback through listening sessions, subject matter experts, states, other federal agencies, and workgroups within our Federal Advisory Committees (JASON Task Force and Governance sub-workgroup).” 

ONC’s goal is to develop version 1.0 of a nationwide interoperability roadmap, which will be a “living document” updated with collective input on a regular basis.  “We know we won’t get everything right the first time around, but also know that achieving interoperability in health IT is a journey, not a destination,” according to DeSalvo and Galvez.

Comments, due by September 12, will be incorporated in a draft roadmap that will be presented to ONC’s federal advisory committees for their input and recommendations in October.  An updated version reflecting the advisory committee feedback will be posted for public comment in early 2015.

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