On August 10-11, 2020 the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) held its summer Tech Forum (see full agenda). This was a change in focus and format from their annual Interoperability Forum that has been held for the past several years. This year the forum was held virtually for the first time. The purpose of the forum was to convene industry experts and Federal partners to discuss technical innovations in health information technology and their potential impacts on the healthcare ecosystem. Senior ONC staff moderated the sessions, and I saw many of the “usual suspects” as well as some new faces presenting.
In June 2020 the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) released a Pediatric Health Information Technology: Developer Informational Resource. The primary purpose of the guide is to assist electronic health record (EHR) software developers in improving their products to better support pediatric health requirements. The origin of this initiative is the 21st Century Cures Act which is Section 4001 calls on ONC to, “make recommendations for the voluntary certification of health information technology for use by pediatric health providers to support the health care of children.”
On March 9, 2020 the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) released its final rule on the 21st Century Cures Act: Interoperability, Information Blocking, and the ONC Health IT Certification Program. Referred to by some people as the “Information Blocking Rule,” since this is the primary topic, the document actually covers a host of other issues related to interoperability driven primarily by requirements of the 21st Century Cures Act. In addition to the final rule itself you can read the ONC press release, a comparison between the proposed and final rules, and lots of other resources. The final rule was officially be published in the Federal Register on May 1, 2020.
ONC Releases Strategy on Reducing Regulatory and Administrative Burden Relating to the Use of Health IT and EHRs
In February 2020 the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) released its final report on the Strategy on Reducing Regulatory and Administrative Burden Relating to the Use of Health IT and EHRs as mandated by the 21st Century Cures Act.
The report is divided into the same four major sections as the version released for comment back in 2018 (see our previous blog), each covering a different area: clinical documentation; health IT usability and the user experience; EHR reporting; and public health reporting. For each section, the report briefly lays out the issues and challenges and provides some key strategies and recommendations.