Federal Interoperability Roadmap: The Impact to Providers (Part 3)

Date: January 13th, 2016Category: CORHIO e-NewsletterTopics: Meaningful Use, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Interoperability


This third of a three-part series outlines components of the ONC’s recently released Interoperability Roadmap to help providers understand what it means to them as they continue in the EHR Incentive Programs.

The Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) released the Shared Interoperability Roadmap in October of 2015. This roadmap describes the ONC’s vision and framework for connectivity and health IT infrastructure between today and the end of 2024. This document will be an important guide as Meaningful Use continues to progress toward Stage 3 and health IT furthers its impact on healthcare. CORHIO will outline several components important to Meaningful Users in this newsletter and continuing in January.

There are a number of milestones (see page 52 in the above link) that impact Meaningful Use in this document.  In the December newsletter, we discussed the effort to develop a standard set of best practices and policies to encourage the development of testing tools for EHR systems and the development of standards for APIs. In this final article on the roadmap, we will cover individual data matching, healthcare directories, and resource location and access to longitudinal electronic health information.

Individual Data Matching

Accurate individual data matching is a critical component of creating a complete patient record and ensuring that electronic data is used to the benefit of a patient and not to their detriment. While today there is a federal law prohibiting the development of a unique patient identifier, states and payers are not prohibited from doing so, and many have. This section of the roadmap encourages the development of a core set of “individual demographic attributes” that are tightly standardized. The near-term goal, by 2017, is that all organizations have an internal duplication rate of no more than 2 percent for every patient in a given database.

Healthcare Directories

Healthcare directories are complex and dynamic—and access to them must be supported by a wide variety of technologies. Today, large national organizations such as SureScripts and the ONC maintain directories of health providers with varying levels of data. There is significant discovery that needs to be done to create a national, federated provider system, and the ONC has posed several questions including asking how individuals would get access to such a system, how it would be maintained, and how individuals would discover relationships between organizations and providers. The 2017 goal for this component is the development of a glide path to answer these questions.

Longitudinal Electronic Health Information

Finally, access to longitudinal health information is what HIEs do best—but not typically with patients. This component is focused on enabling opportunities for patients to access their complete health record under the concept of patient-centric healthcare. The roadmap states “Moving forward, the health IT ecosystem needs to put greater focus on (1)incorporating patient-generated health data across health IT products and services, and (2) ensuring the availability of tools for individuals to use a broad range of electronic health information to manage their health and make more informed…decisions.” The 2017 goal of the roadmap is that a majority of individuals are able to securely access their electronic health information and direct it to the destination of their choice. CORHIO is working in this space by investing in a pilot with a personal health record. This project involves a few Medicaid patients and is designed to see how HIE data combined with patient-generated data can inform patient outcomes.