Doug Fridsma, M.D., director of the ONC Office of Science & Technology, has posted a new blog that explains the Structured Data Capture initiative to support electronic health records interoperability.

The first two stages of EHR meaningful use include some interoperability standards to support exchange of data among EHRs. The goal now is to also make that data more readily available to various stakeholders, including patient safety advocates, researchers, and providers making referrals, completing disease surveillance case reports and getting pre-authorization from insurers, Fridsma notes.

The Structured Data Capture initiative seeks to identify how interoperability technology can be used to access a template containing common data elements, populate the template with correct common data elements from existing EHR data, and store the template or transmit it elsewhere.

ONC is working with other stakeholders to initially identify a core research set of common data elements, test how different agencies and organizations can coordinate and govern the core set, and leverage that work to support safety reporting. “Given the significant investments that have been made in EHR adoption and interoperability in the last four years, enabling structured data capture within EHRs is poised to be a critical way to integrate EHR data into a variety of health services and clinical research activities,” Fridsma writes. The blog with links to more information is available here.

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