- HHS presented several unfulfilled needs for interoperability to be less difficult to achieve during a Health IT Joint Committee Collaboration meeting Wednesday.
- In four different use cases, the agency's Interoperability Experience Task Force identified four needs matrixes: Transitions of care, shared care plans, patient-initiated data, and data transparency for patients and primary care physicians.
- In January, CMS Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt said the agency was "deadly serious about interoperability."
Interoperability has been the healthcare sector's sore spot because it has not yet made the progress the federal government was hoping to accomplish.The task force, however, acknowledged Wednesday that figuring out how to improve interoperability is more of an art form than a science.
"We will begin initiatives in collaboration with physicians and consumers toward pointing technology to fill critical use cases like closing referral loops and engaging a patient in their care," Slavitt wrote in a blog post this January. "And technology companies that look for ways to practice 'data blocking' in opposition to new regulations will find that it won’t be tolerated."
Among the unfulfilled interoperability needs deemed as "high importance" for transitions of care included:
- EHRs in ERs need to know how to electronically contact PCPs' EHRs;
- PCPs' EHRs need to recognize the appropriate patient consent has been obtained;
- EHRs in ERs need to be able to find and interpret patient consents; and
- An EHR in an ER needs to be able to publish when a patient was seen in that ER.
For shared care plans, results should be:
- Communicated to patients;
- Marked as "done"; and
- Discrete and interweave-able with results from tests performed at other labs.
For patient-initiated data:
- Patients need to provide authorization for caregivers to access their data;
- Patients should be able to specify context of data and responsibility; and
- Need to appropriately route incoming data to PCPs' EHRs.
For data transparency for patients and PCPs:
- Hospitals need to be able to share Discharge Summaries and other content;
- Patients' healthcare teams need to identify patient and reconcile patient chart data; and
- Patients and PCPs should have access to medication lists, medication adherence and reconciliation.
Members of the Interoperability Experience Task Force include CommonWell Health Alliance Co-chair Jitin Asnaani, the Center for Medical Interoperability's Kelly Aldrich, Epic's Janet Campbell, Allscripts' George Cole, Mayo Clinic's Christopher Ross, Kindred Healthcare's Larry Wolf, the ONC's Stacy Perchem, among others.
Apart from the quality measures use cases, the task force noted they were going to start pivoting towards solutions. They want to get other experts to weigh in and share what types of solutions are indicative of where things do work, it added.