ONC launches new standards, interoperability framework

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The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) launched its new standards and interoperability framework, Health eDecisions, last week.

According to ONC, the mission of the initiative is to promote a sustainable ecosystem that drives increasing interoperability and standards adoption as well as create a collaborative, coordinated, incremental standards process that is led by the industry in solving “real world problems.”

Currently, there is a lack of widely accepted, implementable standards, ONC stated. “Even within a vendor, clients cannot always exchange content with each other,” ONC’s presentation slides from the launch read. “Healthcare systems with successful implementations of clinical decision support (CDS) are unable to share their proven interventions with others in an importable format, even if they wished it.”

The agency stated that effective CDS requires availability of computable biomedical knowledge, person-specific data and a reasoning or inference mechanism that combines these elements to generate and present helpful information to clinicians, patients or caregivers. “To this end, standards must be advanced to enable either the consumption of CDS via a web service or the import of CDS interventions into CDS systems.”

According to the presentation slides, the expected time for finalizing pilots and final standards development organization recommendations will occur June 2013.

ONC is also calling for participation in the framework, encouraging board and diverse participation. For more information, visit the Health eDecisions website.