Interoperability Resource Guide

When discussing information blocking and patient data in health care, you often hear the terms “interoperability” and “Health Level Seven® (HL7®) International Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources® (FHIR®)”  but how does this all relate to the new federal rules that were approved last Spring? Check out our resource guide below that contains helpful links to pertinent info on the topic.

Common Terms and Definitions:

Data interoperability: Interoperability within health care means the exchange of health information across organizational boundaries to advance effective care delivery. 

Data exchange allows each of the 5 Points of Health Care™ to access critical health information in a timely fashion, reducing duplication and misdiagnoses, mitigating physician burnout and improving the overall quality of care. 

FHIR: The HL7® FHIR® standard defines how health care information can be exchanged between different computer systems regardless of how it is stored in those systems. It allows health care information, including clinical and administrative data, to be available securely to those who have a need to access it, and to those who have the right to do so for the benefit of a patient receiving care.

What is the 21st Century Cures Act and how does it relate to data interoperability?

President Obama signed the 21st Century Cure Act in December 2016. The purpose of this legislation is to accelerate research for treatment and prevention of serious illness, accelerate drug and medical device development, address the opioid abuse epidemic, and improve mental health service delivery. The Act includes provisions to improve data interoperability, adoption of electronic health records and support for human services programs. 

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) is responsible for implementing specific portions of The Act related to advancing interoperability, prohibiting information blocking, and enhancing the usability, accessibility, and privacy and security of health IT. ONC works to ensure that all individuals, their families and their health care providers have appropriate access to electronic health information to help improve the overall health of the nation’s population.

What is ONC’s Final Rule?

The Final Rule is designed to give patients and their health care providers secure access to health information, including a provision requiring that patients have access to their electronic health information at no cost. ONC provides information and resources for how this rule applies to patients, providers, and product developers. 

Find the ONC summary of compliance dates here

Cambia Grove resources include:

Reference Material and Resources: 

ONC Tech Lab 

The ONC Tech Lab's Testing and Utilities page supports a collaborative work environment for health IT developers and providers to test tools, test their health IT functionality in the field, and coordinate with leading industry experts on the development of additional testing resources and testing events. 

The HL7 FHIR ACCELERATORTM Program is designed to assist communities and collaborative groups across the global health care spectrum in the creation and adoption of high-quality HL7 FHIR Implementation Guides or other standard artifacts to move toward the realization of global health data interoperability. Learn about each HL7 FHIR Accelerator project here.  

JAMA Article: Clinical data sharing improves quality measurement and patient safety
Accurate and robust quality measurement is critical to the future of value-based care. Having incomplete information when calculating quality measures can cause inaccuracies in reported patient outcomes. This research examines how quality calculations vary when using data from an individual electronic health record (EHR) and longitudinal data from a health information exchange (HIE) operating as a multisource registry for quality measurement.

CARIN Alliance resources stakeholders can use to advance consumer-directed exchange: 

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