Health IT Policy and Standards Committees Meets; Health Standards and Data Innovation Code-A-Thon and Interoperability Action Day Scheduled

On Wednesday, March 8, the Health IT Policy Committee and Standards Committee, Federal Advisory Committees to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC), convened for a joint meeting.  Jon White, Acting National Coordinator, ONC, provided an update on ONC activities to include a Block chain Code-A-Thon, the ONC 2017 Interoperability in Action Day, and the implementation of the 21st Century Cures Act as it relates to the Health Information Technology Advisory Committee.

On Tuesday, March 14 through Wednesday, March 15, 2017:

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC), in collaboration with the Chamber of Digital Commerce, will host a health standards and data innovation Code-A-Thon at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.  

Monday, March 20th

The ONC Tech Lab’s Inaugural 2017 Interoperability Action Day will take place.  The Action Day is an event designed to highlight many of the successful standards and technology engagements ONC had last year to advance the electronic exchange of health information. Click here to register for the online event.

The Joint Committee meeting also featured an update from the Public Health Task Force, which was provided by co-chairs Larry Wolf and Anne Fine. The overarching charge of the Public Health Task Force is to make recommendations to help inform public health issues and challenges related to Health IT.  Specifically, the Task Force will make recommendations to better assist in the standardization of pregnancy status data, clinical decision support in health IT systems, and case management in public health settings. Zika Virus is used as the case for these recommendations. 

The Task Force focused their preliminary recommendations on four specific areas: Pregnancy Status, Send and Share Pregnancy Status, Use of CDS, and Electronic Initial Case Reporting. Challenges with capturing pregnancy status include that there is no standard to capture pregnancy status and associated data in an EHR and there is no existing consensus on the minimum Public Health data elements. The committee recommends disseminating the Task Force identified and prioritized data elements related to pregnancy status and public pregnancy data standards in ONC’s Interoperability Standards Advisory. 

As part of their deliberations, the Task Force also recommended the following: 

  • Promoting  “Ask on Order Entry” for Zika tests using the same pregnancy data elements noted earlier; 
  • Following demonstration projects that show how Clinical Decision Support from public health can be incorporated into EHRs to identify best practices; 
  • Leveraging work from public health on the development of standards and best practices for eICR through the Digital Bridge and other eICR projects.  

Full preliminary recommendations can be found in the presentation slides. The Task Force will present final recommendations for consideration at the next Joint Committee meeting. 

The next collaboration of the Joint Committees will be an in-person meeting on March 30, 2017 in Washington, D.C.