“The federal government in March released a pair of long-awaited rules that will give patients greater access to their health data and improve the flow of information across care settings. These rules, issued by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), advance goals for better record interoperability and patient access that were set in the bipartisan 21st Century Cures Act.”
“This major regulatory update to America’s health IT infrastructure comes at a time of unprecedented pressure on the nation’s health care system because of the rapid spread of the novel coronavirus. The pandemic has reinforced the need for on-demand, remote access to health data for patients and providers. Although these rules do not solve every health IT challenge, they represent important steps toward maximizing the effectiveness of electronic health records (EHRs) to help manage care and give medical professionals the tools they need to enhance safety.”
“The new rules help to achieve these goals by:
Setting a standard for application programming interfaces
Application programming interfaces, or APIs, are tools that help to gather information from multiple sources at once; they are commonly used to help consumers book flights or hotels online…”
“Including clinical notes in the U.S. Core Data for Interoperability
The ONC rules establish the U.S. Core Data for Interoperability (USCDI), which will include a basic set of information such as medications and allergies, and details including address and phone number…” Read the full article here.
Source: Six Ways New Federal Health IT Rules Improve Both Care and Public Health – By Ben Moscovitch, April 17, 2020. PEW.