Electronic Health & Medical Records

Portrait of Seth Pazinski

Measuring Interoperability: Listening and Learning

Seth Pazinski | July 1, 2016

In April we asked for your input and comments on ways for us to measure how well our nation’s health care system is doing in achieving “widespread interoperability,” as required by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA). Separate from the provisions that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has proposed to implement through the Quality Payment Program for payment of office-based Medicare physicians, MACRA specifically calls on HHS to establish metrics for the exchange and use of clinical information to facilitate coordinated care and improve patient outcomes between participants in the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Programs and others nationwide.

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Portrait of Dr. Karen B. DeSalvo

A Foundation for Discovering Clinical Health IT Applications

Dr. Karen B. DeSalvo | June 1, 2016

Every day across America, health information technology (health IT) professionals and development teams are creating interoperability solutions using application programming interfaces (APIs). As this surge of innovation grows with each passing year, the likelihood that teams across the nation are creating similar or duplicative health IT applications is also increasing. Unfortunately, our capability to search for, discover, compare, and test existing applications has been limited and this lack of available information may contribute to a lag in the diffusion of innovation across the health IT application ecosystem.

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Portrait of Seth Pazinski

Help Inform the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Measurement of Interoperability

Seth Pazinski | April 7, 2016

Today, we are asking for your input on ways to measure the progress toward a future where health information is flowing between providers and patients to supports a health system that provides better care, smarter spending, and healthier people. The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) declares it a national objective to achieve the widespread exchange of health information through the use of interoperable certified electronic health records and directs HHS to establish metrics in consultation with you – the health IT community – to see if that objective has been met.

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Portrait of Aja Brooks, J.D.

The Real HIPAA Supports Interoperability

Aja Brooks, J.D. | February 4, 2016

At ONC, we hear all of the time that the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) makes it difficult, if not impossible, to move electronic health data when and where it is needed for patient care and health. This is a misconception, but unfortunately one that is widespread. This blog series and accompanying fact sheets aim to correct this misunderstanding so that health information is more often available when and where it is needed.   

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Portrait of Dr. Karen B. DeSalvo

When and Where You Need It Most: Your Rights to Access and Transmit Your Health Information

Dr. Karen B. DeSalvo | January 11, 2016

In order to effectively manage their health, individuals need to be able to access and use their health information when, where, and how they want, including sending it to the people and tools helping them become or stay healthy – neighbors, friends, relatives, health care providers who are treating or consulting with the individual, or even third-party software tools used for self-management. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) governs the privacy of individuals’ protected health information (PHI) and when and how that information can be shared.

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