News & Updates

Jul 18
Health IT News : TechTarget Health IT and EHR

ONC has published United States Core Data for Interoperability Version 5 (USCDI v5) and an associated standards bulletin outlining updates to the national data standard. USCDI is a standardized set of data elements for national health information exchange. During the USCDI v5 submission cycle from July to September 2023, ONC received over 330 comments on data elements and more than 60 submissions suggesting new data elements. ONC made changes to some data elements new to Draft USCDI v5 and updated data elements from USCDI v4 in the development of USCDI v5. These changes aim to clarify the definitions, uses, and vocabulary standards of the USCDI data elements.

Jul 16
Health IT News : Healthcare Innovation

A recent blog post by staff members at the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT looks back at successes in expanding e-prescribing rates across the country and also looks ahead at the work that still needs to be done. The authors, Meghan Gabriel, Tricia Lee Rolle and Chelsea Richwine, briefly describe the 20-year history of federal and state policy changes and incentives that have helped drive the adoption of e-prescribing. This started in 2003, when Congress passed the Medicare Modernization Act. In 2006, all states enacted laws to allow e-prescribing of most drugs that require a prescription.

Now, most prescribers have e-prescribing capability integrated in EHRs. Virtually all pharmacies can accept e-prescriptions, and 92% of prescribers e-prescribe, an 85 percentage-point increase from 2008 when only 7% of prescribers were sending e-prescriptions. In addition, policy efforts to promote widespread electronic prescribing of controlled substances (EPCS) adoption have allowed real-time access to patient information to facilitate better-informed patient care decisions and has resulted in 82% of prescribers and nearly all pharmacies being EPCS-enabled.

Jul 15
Blog Post

The electronic prescribing (e-prescribing) landscape continues to evolve and many positive advances have been made over the past decade. This blog post showcases the rapid growth in e-prescribing, steps taken towards laying the essential groundwork for the current state of e-prescribing, and what remains to be accomplished.

Jul 12
Health IT News : GovCIO

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC)’s second version of the Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement (TEFCA) supports more interoperability measures for health care systems, including support for Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) application programming interface (API) exchange and easier access to data for patients. “We have long intended for TEFCA to have the capacity to enable FHIR API exchange. This is in direct response to the health IT industry’s move toward standardized APIs with modern privacy and security safeguards and allows TEFCA to keep pace with the advanced, secure data services approaches used by the tech industry,” said National Coordinator for Health IT Micky Tripathi in a release announcing the Common Agreement update. In the new version, participants can now join TEFCA with multiple qualified health information networks (QHINs), which gives patients more options and allows flexibility when exchanging their data.

Jul 12
Health IT News : The Pew Charitable Trusts

Congress authorized ONC to develop TEFCA in the 21st Century Cures Act of 2016, and the nonprofit Sequoia Project is the official “recognized coordinating entity” charged with developing, implementing, and maintaining the Common Agreement. Within two years of TEFCA’s launch in 2022, QHINs covering most U.S. hospitals and tens of thousands of providers in every state have signed up to participate in TEFCA-based data exchange. In 2024, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) started funding Public Health Data Modernization Implementation Centers to help public health agencies join QHINs and get real-time data from health care providers to inform local decision-making and interventions that improve community health. By next year, CDC will help public health agencies use TEFCA to collect case report data and for case investigations by providing technical assistance. Early adopters—including the health departments for Alaska, Washington, and Southern Nevada—will provide valuable lessons for their peers.