Interoperability Standards Advisory

The Interoperability Standards Advisory (ISA) process represents a single, public list of standards and implementation specifications published by Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC). ONC coordinates the identification, assessment and determination of these recommended interoperability standards and implementation specifications for industry use to fulfill specific clinical health IT interoperability needs. Stakeholders are encouraged to implement and use these recommended standards as applicable to their interoperability needs.

The ISA is organized and structured into five sections with related interoperability needs. Each interoperability need includes one or more standards or implementation specifications to accomplish the listed need. Additional characteristics on these standards and implementation specifications are listed to inform stakeholders on maturity and adoption. These include:

  1. Standards Process Maturity: Conveys maturity in terms of its stage within a particular organization’s approval/voting process.
  2. Implementation Maturity: Conveys maturity based upon its implementation state.
  3. Adoption Level: Approximate, average adoption level for that specific interoperability need in health care within the United States.
  4. Federally Required Status: Conveys whether a standard or implementation specification has been adopted in regulation, referenced as a federal program requirement, or referenced in a federal procurement (i.e., contract or grant) for a particular interoperability need.
  5. Cost: Conveys whether a fee is involved to purchase, license, or obtain membership for access or use of the recommended standard or implementation specification.
  6. Test Tool Availability: Conveys whether a test tool is available to evaluate health IT’s conformance to the standard or implementation specification for the particular interoperability need.

HIMSS Feedback

HIMSS conducts an ongoing review of the ISA and regularly submits comments to ONC on how to improve on the information included in the web-based resource. See below for previous HIMSS comments.

2019 Interoperability Standards Advisory

September 2019 Response to ONC Request for Feedback Included:

  • The importance of building awareness of ISA as a tool for implementers
  • Additional features and functionality to add to the resource to improve its usefulness and value
  • Considerations to improve measurement of standards adoption
  • Recommendations to broaden the education for implementers and emerging stakeholders
  • An expansion of standards and specifications represented in the ISA

2018 Interoperability Standards Advisory

October 2018 Response to ONC Request for Feedback Included:

  • Details on member experiences with the ISA as a resource within their organization
  • The importance of building awareness of ISA as a tool for implementers
  • Additional features and functionality to add to the resource to improve its usefulness
  • New educational resources to include in the ISA
  • IHE profiles to add to the ISA

2015-2017 Interoperability Standards Advisory

September 2017 Responses to Section I and Appendix I Requests for Feedback

HIMSS Response to the Draft 2017 Interoperability Standards Advisory

HIMSS Response to the Draft 2016 Interoperability Standards Advisory

  • HIMSS letters offers support of the new structural changes to the way in which the content is organized and presented in the Draft 2016 Interoperability Standards Advisory. HIMSS appreciates that ONC included standards of all maturity levels in the document to advance the achievement of nationwide interoperability. Additionally, HIMSS applauds ONC on the six new informative characteristics that have been included for best available standards, implementation specifications, and the addition of a section for security patterns.

HIMSS Response to the 2015 Interoperability Standards Advisory

HIMSS Government Relations

The HIMSS policy team works closely with the U.S. Congress, federal decision makers, state legislatures and governments, and other organizations to recommend policy, and legislative and regulatory solutions to improve health through information and technology.

Help Advance Health IT Policy