- Coordinator at the Office of National Coordinator for Health IT Karen DeSalvo on Friday morning released the long-awaited 10-year plan for interoperability, otherwise known as "Connecting Health and Care for the Nation, A Shared Nationwide Interoperability Roadmap." The plan calls for most providers to be able to send, receive and use "a common set of electronic clinical information... at the nationwide level by the end of 2017."
- That "common set" includes about 20 components, including patient demographics, lab test results and identifiers for a patient's care team members, according to Modern Healthcare.
- ONC will be accepting public comment on the plan through April 3.
ONC simultaneously released a separate document, an "advisory" to the industry detailing what the agency considers to be the best current healthcare information exchange standards and implementation specifications. ONC will be periodically updating the list going forward.
The plan calls for a lot of lofty goals—a public-private partnership to create a "governance framework," more incentives in both the public and private sectors for interoperability—but DeSalvo made clear that the roadmap is not a bid by the agency to become a regulator. In fact, one section of the report is under a heading that incudes the expression "non-governmental governance."
"We are not specifically calling for a new entity for nationwide governance," DeSalvo said, but "we still want to give guidance and a timeline" for meeting interoperability objectives.
That pronouncement takes a little bit of the steam out of this release. Failing any real authority, this leaves the roadmap as soft around the edges as Medicare's sweeping pronouncement about payment reform earlier this week.