Standards & Interoperability

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Learn about ONC’s Work on Standards & Interoperability

The ability to exchange health information electronically is an important foundation for efforts to improve health care quality and safety. Learn about ONC’s initiatives to help providers safely share information with one another and get one step closer to meeting meaningful use.

Federal Health Architecture (FHA)

The Federal Health Architecture (FHA) is an E-Government Line of Business initiative managed by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT. FHA was formed to coordinate health IT activities among the more than 20 federal agencies that provide health and healthcare services to citizens.

Federal Health Architecture (FHA) and its federal partners are helping build a federal health information technology environment that is interoperable with private sector systems and supports the President’s plan to enable better point-of-service care, increased efficiency and improved overall health in the U.S. population.

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Standards Acceleration

The work promoting the adoption and uptake of health information technology is key to ensuring the goals of the HITECH Act. But work being done to ensure that the technical standards and specifications are in place to support this technology is also critical to the development and success of a fully functional nationwide health IT ecosystem. ONC is engaged in working on the development and harmonization of domestic health IT standards, and also interfaces with health IT organizations in the international community to promote best practices and collaboration with other countries.

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Interoperability Portfolio

As with the technology that people use everyday – telephone, email, Internet, mobile technology – health information exchange is not a “one-size-fits-all” concept. ONC recognizes that different providers will have different uses for health information exchange. The standards and specifications supporting those needs are being developed and harmonized within ONC’s Office of Science & Technology (OST) into a portfolio of solutions.

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EU and US Step Up Cooperation in eHealth IT

Based on the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed in 2010, the European Commission's Directorate General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology (DG CONNECT) and the United States Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) have agreed on a roadmap to strengthen trans-Atlantic cooperation in eHealth and Health information technologies (IT). DG CONNECT and the DHHS have set out how they will work together to support innovative and collaborative public- and private-sector entities - including suppliers of eHealth solutions – to develop, deploy, and use eHealth science and technologies to empower individuals, support care, improve clinical outcomes, enhance patient safety and improve the health of populations.

To learn more about this effort, please click the button to read the announcement.

Please select here for a copy of the MOU [PDF - 136 KB] and select here for a copy of the Roadmap [DOCX - 36 KB].

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Last updated: Friday, March 22, 2013