CHIME, HL7 Applaud ONC Road Map, JASON Task Force Recommendations

Dan Bowman | Fierce Health IT | October 16, 2014

Health industry groups expressed optimism following the Oct. 15 meeting of the federal government's Health IT Policy and Standards committees to discuss a draft interoperability road map unveiled by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT.  In particular, the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives and Health Level Seven International (HL7) viewed the road map as a step in the right direction. CHIME Director of Federal Relations Jeff Smith (pictured right), who was critical of the interoperability vision paper published in June from which the draft road map stems, told FierceHealthIT that the updated document represents a "marked improvement" from its predecessor.

"The vision paper was very short on details and wasn't at all clear as to what the next version of things would look like," Smith said in a phone conversation. "Based on what we saw yesterday and based on the conversations that were had at the policy committee, things bode well for the next phase and it sounds like ONC is taking diligence in trying to put together something that is both technically robust, as well as considerate of various policies that fall outside the purview of technical standards."  Smith said CHIME will pay close attention to the governance piece of the road map, calling ONC's recommendations neither good nor bad.

"It seems that ONC believes that governance will be the key to putting forth a lot of what will be final recommendations and ultimately final policies," Smith said. "I'm reserving judgment as to whether or not a focus on a governance mechanism is going to be a good thing or a bad thing, but I think that a lot of it will come down to 'is the governance process mechanism easily understood?'"  To that end, Smith said he was "having flashbacks" to the request for information on governance of the Nationwide Health Information Network (NwHIN), which was issued in May 2012. ONC ultimately tabled discussion of NwHIN governance in September 2012...