ONC Identifies Measures for Widespread Interoperability

In a July 1 blog post, The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) discussed its continued commitment to measuring the achievement of “widespread interoperability” in the nation’s health care system. MACRA specifically calls on HHS to establish metrics for the exchange and use of clinical information to facilitate coordinated care and improve patient outcomes between participants in the EHR Incentive Programs and others nationwide. ONC has identified two measures in particular that satisfy both the feedback they received from Health IT stakeholders upon request in April 2016 and MACRA’s specific parameters:

  • Measure #1: Proportion of health care providers who are electronically engaging in the following core domains of interoperable exchange of health information: sending; receiving; finding (querying); and integrating information received from outside sources.
  • Measure #2: Proportion of health care providers who report using the information they electronically receive from outside providers and sources for clinical decision-making.

ONC notes that the above measures come from existing national surveys of hospitals and office-based physicians conducted through the American Hospital Association and CDC and do not add to providers’ reporting burden as part of their participation in federal health care programs. In the near-term, ONC will be continuing to expand measurement efforts to included populations across the health care continuum as well as an increased long-term focus as described in the ONC Shared Nationwide Interoperability Roadmap.