Although some progress has been seen, a lack of health IT vendor transparency and cooperation have been named as barriers to interoperability in the ONC’s annual report.
The report summarizes actions taken by various government agencies to advance health IT, such as the Department of Health and Human Services’ Federal Health IT Strategic Plan, the ONC’s Interoperability Roadmap, and CMS’s EHR Incentive Programs, and touches on the pivotal role private-sector industry plays in realizing the goals outlined in the report.
The report identifies three critical areas that the ONC and all departments of HHS will focus on for 2016:
- The security and usability of health IT
- Simplifying health IT incentive program requirements and creating clear links between participation and positive outcomes
No real surprises in this report from the ONC. There seems to be increasing pressure on the EHR vendors to end their "data blocking" practices, as it is often described in the industry press.
However, let's not overlook the progress that has occured in such a short period of time since the HITECH Act was passed. No, progress has not been fast enough for us in the Internet age, but the entire industry is undergoing massive change. Just take a look at the our 550+ customers across the country for examples of how hospitals, clinics, and vendors are taking control of their data and answering the top focus on the list above.