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Wes Barker

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Wes Barker's Latest Blog Posts

Digital Health Company Experiences Using EHR APIs

Wes Barker | February 15, 2024

New research from a survey of digital health companies shows that most companies (73%) use standards-based application programming interfaces (APIs) when integrating with electronic health records (EHRs) (Figure 1). In 2020, ONC finalized its Cures Act Final Rule, which codified the use of the Health Level 7® (HL7®) Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources® (FHIR®) standard for “certified APIs” that can enable secure, programmatic access to a patient’s electronic health information (EHI).

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A Decade of Data Examined: Patient Access to Electronic Health Information

Wes Barker | December 11, 2023

The world is better off and getting better, compared to popular opinion and what’s broadcast on the news, says Hans Rosling and his co-authors, using simple, comprehensive measures, in Factfulness. Sometimes taking a step back and looking at the big picture (and the data) is important to take stock of actual progress and the necessary work to come. In that spirit, we’re kicking off a new blog series: “A Decade of Data Examined.” These posts will provide a comprehensive look at measures and metrics we’ve tracked for ten or more years to assess progress on important ONC mission activities and help chart a path forward on the work still to come.

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Checking In on Hospital EHR APIs: Can Providers and Patients Access and Share Health Data via Apps?

Wes Barker | September 11, 2023

Thanks to a decade of effort, nearly every U.S. hospital today stores health data electronically. To put that data to work, however, clinicians and patients need to be able to access and appropriately share that data.
To implement the 21st Century Cures Act and help meet those needs, ONC’s Health IT Certification Program adopted new requirements and standards for application programming interfaces (APIs) that support the secure exchange of patient data between electronic health records (EHRs) apps.

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Lantern: Lighting the Way on FHIR Implementation

Wes Barker | August 14, 2023

Turning Evidence into Action

The ONC Cures Act Final Rule (Cures Rule) supports patients’ and providers’ access to electronic health information through Health Level Seven (HL7®) Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR®) application programming interfaces (APIs). To ensure that secure, standardized FHIR APIs certified through the ONC Health IT Certification Program can be accessed and used “without special effort,” the Cures Rule included a requirement to ensure that app developers could readily lookup the service base URLs (i.e.,

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New Data on Clinician Performance and Use of Certified Health IT for Promoting Interoperability

Wes Barker | August 1, 2023

New data for clinicians reporting for Promoting Interoperability in 2019, 2020, and 2021 and their use of certified health IT are now available on healthit.gov/data. These represent an update to the data published through 2016 and representative of eligible professionals who participated in “Meaningful Use.” The data can be linked to the ONC Certified Health IT Product List (CHPL) and other HHS and industry health care datasets.
This data release is a long time coming.

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