HHS and CDC collaborate to empower patients with record access in 2022

“The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) is taking steps to empower patients to better access their health records electronically in the coming year after establishing the groundwork to create standards and interoperability across the health IT space.”

“At the center of many of these efforts is in the formation of standards-based application programming interfaces (APIs), information-sharing, interoperability requirements and other standards that ONC has established in response to the 2016 21st Century Cures Act.”

“Since then, ONC has been laying the regulation groundwork to make electronic health records more usable and accessible to patients. Now that the foundation is set, with steps like the Cures Act Final Rule and the information-blocking rule in place, National Coordinator for Health IT Micky Tripathi shared that patient can start to see the implementation of ONC’s requirements more clearly in the year ahead…”

“Tripathi highlighted that recent steps like ONC’s requirement that EHR system providers make electronic information available to patients through standardized mechanisms was key to getting to where EHRs are today. Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) API standards have also played an important role, especially as ONC set a new API standard deadline for EHR vendors by the end of 2022.”

“’By the end of 2022, certified EHR vendors are required to make available an API based on a particular technical standard, an implementation guide that ONC has pointed to, and what that will allow is the market for patient-facing apps to be able to develop faster and better than it is today,’ Tripathi said.”

“In 2022, ONC will be more strongly enforcing the U.S. Core Data for Interoperability (USCDI), a standardized set of health data classes and elements for national interoperable health information exchange. This,Tripathi added, will enable common components of patients’ health record data to appear across various applications and systems for smoother data portability.”

“Beyond the requirements of the 21st Century Cures Act, ONC has also been expanding on recent effort to expand health equity and public health data interoperability as health disparities and COVID-19 public health obstacles have become more front and center for the federal government…” Read the full article here.

Source: ONC Eyes Empowering Patients With Record Access in 2022 – By Melissa Harris, November 19, 2021. GovernmentCIO.

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