ONC seeks comments on EHR Reporting Program criteria
The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology wants to hear how it can better address some key issues that continue to dog the industry and the use of electronic health records.
Specifically, in a request for information released Friday, the agency seeks comments about criteria related to interoperability, usability and certification testing, as well as anything else necessary to measure certified EHRs' performance.
Those performance metrics will be used in the EHR Reporting Program mandated by the 21st Century Cures Act, which also requires the ONC to create the appropriate certification criteria. Under the EHR Reporting Program, the ONC will solicit feedback from providers, patients, developers, and other users of certified EHR products on whether those products meet the given criteria.
Along with the required criteria categories, the 21st Century Cures Act recommends other categories, including EHRs' ability to let users order and view test results; to exchange data with clinical registries, medical devices, health information exchanges, and other providers; and to exchange data with governmental agencies.
The ONC is especially interested in getting input from users in ambulatory settings and small practices, "where providers typically do not have substantial time and resources to conduct broad market research." The agency also asked for comments about how existing data sources could be used for these new certification criteria.
For reporting the new criteria, the ONC asked about what type of measurement scales should be used and how the HHS can persuade clinicians, patients, and others to tell it about their experiences with certified health IT.
The ONC also wants to know which types of data sources would be helpful to compare health IT products' interoperability. The 21st Century Cures Act calls for greater interoperability and prohibits "information blocking."
The ONC is expected to release a rule defining information blocking this fall. Comments on the EHR Reporting Program criteria are also due this fall, on Oct. 17.
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