Supporting Health IT for the Pediatric Care Continuum

Samantha Meklir and Al Taylor | July 28, 2020

Over the past decade, ONC has worked with health information technology (health IT) developers, standards development organizations, healthcare providers, patient advocates, health information exchange (HIE) administrators, state public health agencies, and other stakeholders to advance an interoperable health IT infrastructure across the country. ONC has also worked to expand access to health IT solutions across the care continuum to support medical specialty care and sites of service.

We have heard from healthcare and health IT developer communities that there is a need to connect broadly applicable standards and functions to more specific and clinically relevant tools and resources for key clinical use cases. We have also heard several key points about information that would support improved collaboration between health IT developers and healthcare providers. This includes perspectives such as:

  • Developing health IT solutions to effectively support clinical care is particularly challenging if the clinical workflow is not clearly specified as a process.
  • Compiling information on technical resources and use cases for specific clinical priorities helps to facilitate collaboration between clinicians and developers.
  • Identifying computable resources aligned to a specific clinical priority supports a targeted approach and informs continued development where gaps are identified.

Recently, ONC released ONC Pediatric Health Information Technology Developer Informational Resource (IR) for health IT developers working to support pediatric care and practice settings. The resource outlines ONC’s health IT certification criteria related to key clinical priorities and additional technical information that can assist developers working with pediatric healthcare providers. It also includes relevant tools to consider for implementation with a focus on specific recommendations that are aligned to the clinical priorities identified by pediatric healthcare providers.

The IR builds upon prior efforts like the Children’s Electronic Health Record (EHR) Format supported by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), and could not exist without the work of stakeholders who have helped identify how an IR could support the healthcare of children.

In the IR, we focus specifically on ten ONC recommendations that align to clinical priorities that were identified by the American Academy of Pediatrics in partnership with relevant stakeholders across the country. Significant contributions were also made by healthcare organizations and federal partners to provide detailed review and feedback on this IR, which is fundamental to ensuring the clinical relevance of any health IT initiative.

This IR may continue to evolve in the future as gaps are filled and more work is done to expand the tools, functionalities, and standards available for use by healthcare providers who care for children. We look forward to collaborating with clinicians, hospitals, standards developers, health IT developers and others to continue this work.

Learn More About Pediatric Care and Health IT

Webinar Recording: ONC hosted a question and answer session on health IT for pediatric care and settings on June 24, 2020.

Pediatric Health IT in the ONC Cures Rule: In the ONC Cures Act final rule, we outlined our approach to identifying recommendations for the voluntary certification of health IT to support the healthcare of children.

Care Continuum Tip Sheet: This tip sheet briefly outlines our scalable, repeatable approach to help enable collaborative efforts between the healthcare and health IT communities aimed at improving the effectiveness of health IT solutions targeting clinical priorities identified by stakeholders.

Pediatric Health IT Technical Analysis: In preparation for the Cures Act proposed rule, ONC sought input from a wide range of stakeholders and conducted an analysis of technical components and standards within the certification program to support voluntary certification of health IT for pediatric care.