Health IT Policy and Standards Committees Discuss New Health IT Resources, Cybersecurity, and Awards to Improve Information Flow

On Wednesday, October 5 2016, the Health IT Policy Committee and Standards Committee, Federal Advisory Committees to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC), convened for an in-person joint meeting. ONC provided an overview of two new resources launched during National Health IT Week to include Phase II of the Health IT Playbook and an updated EHR Contract Guide.

Lauren Richie with ONC presented the Health IT Playbook - a resource that provides practical technical and workflow assistance to include helpful tools that providers and practices can leverage when implementing and optimizing health IT.  Phase I, the Patient Engagement Playbook, was launched in June, 2016. The Playbook is designed to help resolve key issues and challenges providers are experiencing as it related to health IT optimization and workflow.

Elise Anthony and Karson Mahler with ONC presented on the new EHR Contract Guide, updated from a guide released in 2013, that is designed to help purchasers understand the “fine print” while navigating EHR contracts, ask the right questions when purchasing an EHR, manage EHR expectations, and negotiate reasonable contract terms. The EHR Contract Guide is broken down into two parts – Part A highlights critical contract planning steps and Part B focuses on the negotiation and contracting phase.

Steve Posnack with the ONC Office of Standards and Technology discussed the $1.5 million awarded by HHS to improve information flow for patients and providers. The seven awardees for the High Impact Pilot (HIP) and Standards Exploration Award (SEA) were announced during National Health IT Week and will utilize the funds to create standards-based solutions that facilitate the exchange of health information.

Additional updates included a Zika response update from James Daniel at ONC that discussed current challenges with health IT automation in public health emergencies and next steps. Updates on the Model Privacy Notice (MPN) were provided by the Consumer Task Force.  The MPN is voluntary, openly available resource that provides a standardized, easy-to-use framework to help developers clearly convey information about privacy and security to their users. Lastly, updates on Information Sharing and Analysis Organizations (ISAOs) initiative were provided by Rose-Marie O. Nsahlai, Office of the Chief Privacy Office, ONC, and Nikol Todd, Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR). Nsahlai and Todd discussed the ISAO Cooperative Agreement which has a goal to improve cyber security awareness within the HPH sector.

The next in-person Joint Committee meeting will take place on December 6, 2016.