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HLN Attends August ONC 2017 Technical Interoperability Forum

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HLN Attends August ONC 2017 Technical Interoperability Forum

Last week I attended with my colleague Mike Berry the ONC 2017 Technical Interoperability Forum. This meeting was convened under the 21st Century Cures Act passed by Congress in la ...

Last week I attended with my colleague Mike Berry the ONC 2017 Technical Interoperability Forum. This meeting was convened under the 21st Century Cures Act passed by Congress in late 2016. Several hundred attended a series of panel presentations and discussions over one and a half days covering a variety of topics related to interoperability, including discussion of the business case for interoperability, semantics, national networks, and application programming interfaces (APIs). In many ways the speakers were “the usual suspects” involved in national networks, standards development, and HIE planning and implementation.

Nearly two years ago I wrote an essay, The Interoperability of Things, based on the collection of comments received by ONC on the draft Nationwide Interoperability Roadmap. Though I asked the new National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, Dr. Don Rucker, in a previous meeting if the Roadmap was still relevant and he said it was, there was absolutely no mention of this document at the Forum and it did not seem like the Roadmap was the operative guide for ONC activities or thinking. My own essay drew out a number of themes in interoperability I perceived at the time, including: lack of consensus on definition and scope; ambiguity over the role of HIEs, especially at the state level; disagreement over whether the pace of change was too fast or too slow, too general or too specific; and the complex state of consent and privacy laws across the country that really put a crimp in cross-state data sharing.

HLN Participates in 12th Annual Stewards of Change Institute National Symposium

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HLN Participates in 12th Annual Stewards of Change Institute National Symposium

On June 19-20, 2017, Dr. Noam Arzt, President of HLN, participated by invitation in the 12th Annual Stewards of Change Institute National Symposium on behalf of the Healthcare Info ...

On June 19-20, 2017, Dr. Noam Arzt, President of HLN, participated by invitation in the 12th Annual Stewards of Change Institute National Symposium on behalf of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS). This symposium provided a unique opportunity to discuss key issues in data management and interoperability with a small, but diverse set of stakeholders across the health and human services. The symposium included a particular focus on issues surrounding the current opioid epidemic. In addition, a new National Interoperability Collaborative (NIC) was launched (with funding from the Kresge Foundation) to spearhead information sharing regarding interoperability strategies and activities. Though there was no CDC participation at this symposium, there was a very nice briefing from several representatives of the Department of Health and Human Services including the new National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, Dr. Don Rucker.

This symposium represents a welcomed expansion of the Stewards of Change focus from human services into the health domain. This expanded conversation will allow public health to participate more fully as the shift to our collective concern about wellness requires a more holistic view of people, their requirements, and their circumstances. We look forward to continuing engagement with this community and an opportunity to bring what we have learned in public health about interoperability into this new forum.

New PHII Blog: A public health perspective on interoperability

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New PHII Blog: A public health perspective on interoperability

The Public Health Informatics Institute (PHII) recently published a blog entry written by Dr. Noam Arzt, president of HLN: A public health perspective on interoperability We have ...

The Public Health Informatics Institute (PHII) recently published a blog entry written by Dr. Noam Arzt, president of HLN:

A public health perspective on interoperability

We have written previously about interoperability and its increasing important to public health. Yet public health has some specific challenges to making interoperability effective:

  • There are more than 2,500 public health agencies in the U.S. at the federal, state, local, territorial and tribal levels. This not only leads to great diversity, but as a result public health cannot and does not speak with one voice about interoperability issues (or anything else for that matter). This makes it difficult for some stakeholders to engage public health consistently or to implement solutions that can be used more uniformly and therefore more effectively across public health.

See full blog entry

New Article Published: Is There a National Strategy Emerging for Patient Matching in the US?

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New Article Published: Is There a National Strategy Emerging for Patient Matching in the US?

New article by Dr. Noam Arzt published in Medical Research Archives: Is There a National Strategy Emerging for Patient Matching in the US? Patient record matching has been a key ...

New article by Dr. Noam Arzt published in Medical Research Archives:

Is There a National Strategy Emerging for Patient Matching in the US?

Patient record matching has been a key area of emphasis for healthcare, with several major efforts to identify best practices in the past decade. Because of a lack of a national patient identifier, several distinct approaches to patient matching in both the public and private sectors have emerged, which do not appear to be converging. One major focus of a number of patient matching initiatives is the identification of a core set of data elements found in most patient records, regardless of setting, to facilitate matching. These initiatives have also not yet converged. Some organizations participate in master patient index (MPI) deployments within their agency or jurisdiction. But participation in a shared MPI can also be challenging, and policies and processes for synchronizing record changes, among other issues, must be carefully considered. “Promising practices” should be identified from those jurisdictions that have lived through a migration to an enterprise MPI.

http://journals.ke-i.org/index.php/mra/article/view/1150

Preparing for 2017: Four Important Reports

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Preparing for 2017: Four Important Reports

With so much transition ahead of us at the Federal, state, and local levels in 2017, it is important to begin to plan for what the Health IT landscapes will look like for the comin ...

With so much transition ahead of us at the Federal, state, and local levels in 2017, it is important to begin to plan for what the Health IT landscapes will look like for the coming year (and beyond). Several key reports have come out – mostly from government sources – which are worth serious consideration for any Health IT planner:

HHS Public Health 3.0 White Paper: This seminal paper sets the stage for ongoing maturation of the public health infrastructure and capability at all levels of government to continue to assure the public’s health.

ONC 2017 Interoperability Standards Advisory: Now in its third year, this material gets longer and longer, and more and more complex each time. The current incarnation is a navigable website chock full of standards, though you can still download a PDF by clicking on the “2017 ISA Reference Edition” or “ISA 2017” links.

ONC 2016 Report to Congress on Health IT Progress: This HITECH-required report updates Congress about progress during the past year. While it is a really good summary of recent and current activities and initiatives, it only deals with what is really going on (or not going on) on the ground in a cursory way.

National Governors Association Road Map for States to Improve Health Information Flow Between Providers: A very detailed report aimed at State policy makers with clear guidance – and lots of examples – to try to move interoperability forward at the State level.

There are no easy answers here, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the information presented in these reports. But they cannot be ignored and can help form the basis of a solid organizational or governmental strategy.