The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT is making available as much as $2 million in funding for solutions to healthcare industry challenges that continue to inhibit HIT interoperability.

Specifically, ONC is looking to address “well-documented and fast-emerging challenges” in two areas of interest: expanding the scope, scale and utility of population-level data-focused application programming interfaces (APIs), and advancing clinical knowledge at the point of care.

ONC notes the “growing interest in the health IT community to use standardized, FHIR-based APIs to support the availability of and access to defined groups of patient data,” adding “the goal of this area of interest is for the recipient to discover and document the limitations of existing FHIR, data format and associated security specifications designed to support population-level services; propose enhancements to such specifications in consultation with relevant standards development organizations; and test the feasibility of such enhancements by developing one or more working prototypes.”

When it comes to advancing clinical knowledge at the point of care, the agency contends that the “volume and rate at which new clinical evidence is produced is difficult for clinicians to stay abreast of and implement into clinical practice to deliver effective care” and that “the goal of this area of interest is to advance clinical knowledge into the healthcare setting via innovative health IT tools and approaches.”

HHS Headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Brian M. Kalish/Employee Benefit Adviser

Also See: ONC announces winners of Patient Matching Algorithm Challenge

Under the Leading Edge Acceleration Projects (LEAP) in Health Information Technology, one recipient will be selected for each area of interest, with each receiving as much as $1 million for two years.

While these awards will have a two-year project and budget period at initial award, ONC notes that applicants are encouraged to submit proposals based on a five-year project and budget period, as additional funding for out years may be provided.

The application due date is August 17 with an anticipated award date of September 19. Additional information on this funding opportunity is available here.

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