- Nearly all nonfederal acute care hospitals have updated their health IT to 2015 edition criteria, which includes open APIs, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT reports.
- An analysis of 2017 data from the American Hospital Association's Information Technology Supplement Survey shows 93% of hospitals have adopted or plan to adopt 2015 version EHRs.
- Moreover, 88% of hospitals are sharing patient summary of care records with sources outside their institution, and 74% are receiving such information, according to ONC.
This is good news for hospitals that have made the leap to 2015-certified EHRs, though it's just one benchmark for a much broader push toward interoperability.
The analysis also shows a jump in hospitals' ability to find and integrate data. More 60% of hospitals said they can now query data from outside sources, up from 55% in 2016. The share of hospitals able to integrate data rose to 53% versus 41% in 2016.
Over the past year, 41% hospitals claimed the ability to perform in all four interoperability domains: send, receive, find and integrate. That's up from 29% in 2016 and 23% in 2014.
"In 2017, 83 percent of hospitals that could send, receive, find and integrate outside information also reported having information electronically available at the point of care," ONC National Coordinator Don Rucker and health IT policy researcher Talisha Searcy write in a blog. "This is at least 20 percent higher than hospitals that engage in three domains and almost seven times higher than hospitals that don’t engage in any domain."
Meanwhile, nearly a third of health IT developers preparing to meet 2015 edition EHR certification requirements are using the Fast Health Interoperability Resources standard, specifically FHIR Release 2, ONC reported earlier this month. FHIR is a key metric for interoperability and meeting overall connectivity goals.
While the new analysis is encouraging, healthcare still has a ways to go to achieving full interoperability. Providers are still awaiting new rules detailing how HHS will prevent hoarding of data via information blocking, under pressure from Congress and the industry.
The 21st Century Cures Act requires the secretary of HHS to issue regulations to limit data blocking and identify "reasonable and necessary activities that do not constitute information blocking." CMS Administrator Seema Verma publicly committed to ending data blocking at HIMSS18 earlier this year. Yet nearly two years after the Cures Act was signed into law, information blocking regulations have not been issued.