ONC Advancing Interoperability

The HHS Office of the National Coordinator for HIT recently released the whitepaper “A 10-Year Vision to Achieve an Interoperable Health IT Infrastructure”. The whitepaper is an invitation to health IT stakeholders, clinicians, hospitals, public health, technology developers, payers, researchers, policymakers, individuals, and many others to join ONC in figuring out how to collectively achieve interoperability across the health IT ecosystem.

The health IT ecosystem requires that individuals be able to access and share health information, obtain quality and safety in care delivery, manage health population exchange, and deal effectively with big data and analytics.

In addition the interoperable health IT ecosystem needs to enable the right data to be available to the right people at the right time across products and organizations in a way that can be relied on and meaningfully used by recipients.

ONC’s report includes a set of guiding principles to achieve the 10 year vision for interoperability to:

  • Build upon the existing health IT infrastructure
  • Understand that one size does not fit all
  • Empower individuals to integrate information from the healthcare delivery system
  • Leverage the market
  • Simplify  the solutions that need to be implemented first while allowing for more complex methods in the future
  • Maintain modularity to create flexibility to allow for innovation and the adoption of new more efficient approaches over time without overhauling entire systems
  • Support multiple levels of advancement to account for a range of capabilities among information sources and information users including EHR and non-EHR users
  • Focus on making sure that interoperability efforts will yield the greatest value to individuals and care providers
  • Protect privacy and security in all aspects of interoperability


By 2024, individuals, care providers, communities, and researchers should have an array of interoperable health IT products and services that will allow the healthcare system to continuously learn and advance the goal of improved healthcare.

Go to www.healthit.gov/sites/default/files/ONC10yearInteroperabilityConceptPaper.pdf to download the whitepaper.

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