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ONC Releases 2016 Interoperability Standards Advisory

By: Nextech | December 28th, 2015

ONC Releases 2016 Interoperability Standards Advisory Blog Feature

With the new year just days away, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) issued its final version of the 2016 Interoperability Standards Advisory (ISA).

The 80-page document acts as a "single resource for those looking for federally recognized, national interoperability standards and guidance," according to a blog post by ONC's Director of the Office of Standards and Technology Steven Posnack, MS, MHS, and Director of HIT Infrastructure and Innovation Division Chris Muir.machinegears

The final version of the ISA is the result of ONC pouring over public feedback over the last couple of months. Among the most notable change, says Posnack and Muir, is the inclusion of six informative characteristics for each standard and implementation specification referenced in the report. According to the ONC, it's expected these characteristics will be more effective in providing more detailed information regarding implementation standards and specifications.

  • Standards process maturity
  • Implementation maturity
  • Adoption level
  • Federal required
  • Cost
  • Test tool availability

"They also help set a baseline that will allow us to track industry progress over time as standards and implementation specifications get updated and retired; move from draft to final; mature from pilot to production; and grow from low to high adoption," the blog post explains.

RELATED: ONC releases finalized national interoperability roadmap

As stated in its national interoperability roadmap back in October, ONC looks to achieve national interoperability by 2024. As ONC continues to focus on this goal, the ISA plays an important role in this objective by providing a system where "electronic health information is unlocked and securely accessible to achieve better care, smarter spending, and healthier people."

Of course, this is only the beginning for ONC. Once the calendar turns to a new year, ONC's work is just beginning in regard to interoperability, noting that the ISA is a "continuous annual process" and 2017's ISA is only nine months away.