Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC)

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A Ransomware Epidemic And An Overdue National Health IT Safety Center

Dean Sittig and Hardeep Singh | Health Affairs Blog | July 29, 2016

A rapid increase in computerization of health care organizations (HCOs) around the world has raised their profile as lucrative targets for cyber-criminals. Recently there has been a spate of high-profile ransomware attacks involving hospitals’ electronic health record (EHR) data.Briefly, ransomware attacks commonly start when a user is conned into clicking an internet link or opening a malicious email attachment. Malware, or software that is intended to damage or disable the computer, is then downloaded and rapidly encrypts data on that computer and attempts to reach out to other computers on the same network to encrypt data on those computers as well; consequently, all encrypted data is inaccessible...

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2017 Emerges as Pivotal Year for FHIR Interoperability Standard

Greg Slabodkin | Health Data Management | January 5, 2017

Health Level Seven International’s Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) application programming interface is moving closer to becoming a mature standard, with the “normative” version slated for release sometime in 2017. Standards are widely perceived as providing the greatest potential for achieving national health IT interoperability in the near future. In particular, FHIR is seen by industry stakeholders as a promising solution to the complex interoperability challenges that are confronting healthcare organizations...

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5 Health IT Pieces Of Congress Agenda For 2015

Staff Writer | Government Health IT | January 6, 2015

With Republican majorities poised to take control of the Senate and House of Representatives, the 2015 Congress is expected to address several health IT programs. Although controlling spending and promoting free enterprise remain GOP tenants, the approach by Congress to various health IT issues will vary...

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A Chat with CommonWell’s Executive Director: Interoperability’s Next Steps, Data Blocking, and Epic

Rajiv Leventhal | Healthcare Informatics | July 12, 2016

It’s been a little over three years since the CommonWell Health Alliance, an industry trade group made up of many of the largest electronic health record (EHR) systems vendors and other health IT companies, formed at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) annual conference with the goal to greatly enhance health data exchange. And, it’s been a little over a year since the Alliance tapped Jitin Asnaani as its founding executive director...

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AMA Calls For Reduced Requirements, Penalties For MU Program

Beth Walsh | Innovation + Technology | May 13, 2014

The American Medical Association (AMA) has a long list of ideas to make the Meaningful Use (MU) program better for physicians and shared its recommendations in a letter to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC)...

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AMA Immediate Past President Challenges Healthcare IT Leaders to Fix EHRs

Mark Hagland | Healthcare Informatics | August 11, 2016

Speaking both as a practicing emergency physician and as the immediate past president of the American Medical Association (AMA), Steven J. Stack, M.D., challenged the healthcare IT leaders in his audience on Thursday to do everything possible to encourage improvements in electronic health record (EHR) technology for the sake of frustrated physicians, when he delivered the opening keynote address at the Health IT Summit in Nashville, sponsored by the Institute for Health Technology Transformation (iHT2—a sister organization to Healthcare Informatics under the Vendome Group, LLC corporate umbrella) at the Sheraton Downtown Nashville, in Nashville, Tenn...

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AMIA’s Doug Fridsma: Time for the Feds to Truly Open Up Patient Records to Fully Interoperable Data Use

Mark Hagland | Healthcare Informatics | June 13, 2016

Access to information and the ability to integrate and use information has changed how individuals book travel, find information about prices and products, and compare and review services. Information can empower individuals, but health care has lagged behind other fields. It is unconscionable that in 2016 most patients are unable to obtain their entire medical record unless they print it out. While progress has been made in the last several years to support patients’ access to their information through various electronic means, such as Blue Button and patient portals, this is not sufficient to make patients first-order participants in their care, their health and their research efforts...

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Are The Keys To Interoperable Health IT Hidden Outside The Health Care Field?

Billy Mitchell | FedScoop | September 24, 2014

To build a truly modern and interoperable health care system, some leading health IT experts think critical answers may be hidden in industries typically thought to be unassociated with health care...

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Assessment Released Of Health Information Exchanges (Part 1 Of 2)

Andy Oram | EMR & EHR | January 8, 2015

Like my Boston-area neighbors who perennially agonize over the performance of the Red Sox, healthcare advocates spend inordinate amounts of time worrying about Health Information Exchanges (HIEs). Will the current round of exchanges work after most previous attempts failed?...

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Assessment Released Of Health Information Exchanges (Part 2 of 2)

Andy Oram | EMR & EHR | January 7, 2015

The previous installment of this article talked about the survivability of HIEs, drawing on a report released under ONC auspices. This installment delves into some other interesting aspects of information exchange...

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Benefits of Patient-Generated Health Data to EHR Use

Sara Heath | EHR Intelligence | January 4, 2016

Patient-generated health data has the power to improve patient care, not just by completing EHR data, but by empowering the patient to engage in their own health. Between completing EHR information and empowering the patient as a part of the care team, patient-generated health data has the potential to be an integral part of enhancing the overall care for an individual...

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Benefits of Patient-Generated Health Data, Patient Engagement

Sara Health | Patient Engagement HIT | March 15, 2016

Between improving chronic disease management, boosting the Precision Medicine Initiative, and driving patient satisfaction, patient-generated health data has many healthcare benefits. Through the current health technology boom amongst patients and the near-ubiquitous adoption of EHRs amongst providers, patient-generated health data has become an important aspect of patient engagement...

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Big Cyber Hack Of Health Records Is 'Only A Matter Of Time'

David Pittman | Politico Pro | July 1, 2014

The health world is flirting with disaster, say the experts who monitor crime in cyberspace. A hack that exposes the medical and financial records of tens of thousands of patients is coming, they say — it’s only a matter of when...

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Blue Button Developers to Meet at the White House Today - Verma and Liddell to Open the Conference

More than 700 app developers and eHealth groups and organizations have registed to meet today at the White House for the first Blue Button 2.0 developer conference. The "The inaugural Blue Button 2.0 Developer Conference will bring together application developers in the technical community to help build and develop new tools to help patients understand their health data,” said Seema Verma, Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in a statement. 

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Breaking Down the Role of Patient Engagement in Meaningful Use

Sara Heath | Patient Engagement HIT | March 21, 2016

Patient engagement plays a great role in meaningful use, despite much industry debate and conflicting interests. Patient engagement is not just a new patient-centered care philosophy. For providers and hospitals participating in the EHR Incentive Programs, patient engagement is a critical part of receiving incentive payments. Between the different stages of meaningful use and new rule proposals amending the program, the requirements for patient engagement are not always clear.

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