JASON Task Force to Present Final Report

On October 8, the JASON Task Force (JTF) met for the final time before they present their report next week at the upcoming joint Health IT Policy Committee and Health IT Standards Committee meeting on October 15. The 20 page report outlines their assessment and recommendations. The executive summary states that “though the JTF does agree with the main thrust of the JASON Report, we do take issue with several of its findings and recommendations” and cites the following items:

  • JASON does not accurately characterize the very real progress that has been made in interoperability, especially in the last 2 years.
  • JASON's description of current generation clinical and financial systems does not accurately portray the broad range of functionality of these systems, or the innovation occurring on those platforms. 
  • The report addresses software engineering and architecture aspects of interoperability but explicitly does not examine policy, legal, governance, and business barriers to health information exchange.  Yet, the report recommends aggressive timelines for change that would be difficult to achieve when taking into account policy, legal, governance, and business barriers. 
  • The software architecture recommended by JASON assumes a high degree of centralized orchestration, however, the report does not describe the source, structure, and process for achieving such orchestration.”

Citing reasons for some issues, such as the amount of time passed between the report’s commission and publication (and the progress within that timeframe that occurred), the JASON report also outlines areas of the JTF’s agreement with the report. Those included the “strong agreement for an orchestrated interoperability architecture based on open APIs as the foundational approach for nationwide health information exchange.” The report went on to say “the JTF also agrees with JASON's observation that current interoperability approaches -- based on complex, health-care unique, document-oriented standards and business frameworks -- are functionally limited and need to be supplemented and perhaps eventually replaced with API-based models.  The JTF thus also agrees with JASON's recommendation that MU Stage 3 be used as a pivot point to begin the transition to an API-based interoperability paradigm.”