HealthIT Buzz: APIs for Research: Perspectives from Providers

The Cures Act Final Rule includes regulatory requirements to implement secure, standards-based application programming interfaces (APIs). To support the acceleration of API adoption in health care, ONC has published a series of perspective reports that focus on key stakeholders and their views on APIs.

Accelerating APIs for Scientific Discovery: Provider Perspectives Brief [PDF – 740 KB] is now available. This fourth and final report explored provider perspectives on API-based data sharing in a rapidly evolving electronic health data ecosystem. Provider organizations are often the primary stewards of a patient’s medical history, and data captured in electronic health records (EHRs) influence a provider’s workflow and clinical decisions. As a result, it is imperative that we understand providers’ perspectives as we build towards an interoperable health care system…

In describing their motivations and experiences managing APIs and apps, providers indicated that APIs can support access, exchange, and use of EHI by extending the functionality of their EHRs. For instance, APIs can enable providers to use structured data elements in the EHR for clinical decision support, such as for calculating cardiovascular disease risk. Other findings included:

  • Clinical, administrative, and research use cases may benefit from the adoption of APIs and apps that provide additional data sets from external sources such as remote monitoring devices.
  • Interest in having patient-generated health data (PGHD) from devices written back to and/or incorporated into the EHR’s workflow to improve clinical decision making and provide additional analytics capabilities to providers.
  • Governance processes require a formal implementation strategy, specialized knowledge, and dedicated resources. Provider organizations often lack internal resources to implement, manage, and maintain APIs and apps… Read the full article here.


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