HIMSS Call to Action: Achieve Nationwide, Ubiquitous, Secure Electronic Exchange of Health Information

Patients’ lives, the health and security of our nation’s citizens, and the health of the US economy are – in part – reliant on ensuring the right people have the right access to the right health information at the right time. While we have made great strides over the past generation, seamless, secure, nationwide interoperable health information exchange continues to elude us.

For many years, HIMSS and our valued collaborators have worked relentlessly on ensuring individuals and organizations routinely use secure, trust-worthy, interoperable technologies and work flows to promote wellness, as well as protect and improve the health status of patients and populations. While we’ve made much progress, and entire careers have been spent creating the building blocks and putting them in-place, our work is not complete. HIMSS asserts that we must achieve secure, appropriate, and ubiquitous data access and electronic exchange of health information: Now is the time for bold action.

HIMSS publishes this Call to Action, guiding principles to inform health policy and spur our nation’s health sector to action. We welcome all who share our commitment to join us in achieving better health through the best use of information and technology.

The Call to Action was championed by HIMSS's Interoperability & HIE Committee and informed by their work to create the Interoperability Initiatives Environmental Scan. It was approved by the HIMSS North America Board of Directors on Friday, October 6, 2017. We welcome all collaborators to join us in our Call to Action.


HIMSS calls on the Department of Health and Human Services and the broader health information and technology community to demonstrate the following leadership:

  • Demand Integration between the Interoperability Approaches and Trusted Exchange Frameworks for the Public Good;
  • Educate the Community to Appropriately Implement Existing and Emerging Standards, Data Formats, and Use Cases to Ensure a Comprehensive, Integrated Approach to Care;
  • Ensure Stakeholder Participation from Across the Care Continuum, Including Patients and Caregivers;
  • Identify the “Minimum Necessary” Business Rules for Trusted Exchange to Enhance Care Coordination;
  • Standardize and Adopt Identity Management Approaches; and,
  • Improve Usability for Data Use to Support Direct Care and Research.