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What is interoperability?
The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT is responsible for advancing connectivity and interoperability of health information technology (health IT). ONC follows the IEEE definition of interoperability as the ability of systems to exchange and use electronic health information from other systems without special effort on the part of the user. Advancing health IT interoperability is a key element in helping transform the health care delivery system into one that provides better care, smarter spending and healthier people. ONC's overarching goal for electronic health information exchange is for information to follow a patient where and when it is needed, across organizational, health IT developer and geographic boundaries.
The Federal Health IT Strategic Plan
The Federal Health IT Strategic Plan 2015-2020 (Strategic Plan), identifies implementation of the Roadmap as critical to enhancing the nation’s health IT infrastructure. The Roadmap directly aligns with the Plan’s mission of improving the health and well-being of individuals and communities through the use of technology and health information that is accessible when and where it matters most. While the Plan focuses on federal efforts, the Roadmap details the policy, technology and behavioral changes that public and private stakeholders must make to achieve nationwide interoperability.
The Roadmap: Calls to Action and Commitments Organized by Participant Group
We all play a role and must work together to make health information electronically and securely available when and where it is needed to support the health and well-being of all Americans. The calls to action and commitments from the Roadmap were shaped by input from both experts and people on the ground, who understand the complex health IT ecosystem and sensitive nature of health and care. Explore the calls to actions and commitments organized by participant group.
2015 Edition Health IT Certification Criteria
The 2015 Edition Health IT Certification Criteria (2015 Edition) rule works in concert with the Roadmap and serves as a key component in ONC’s commitment to establishing an interoperable nationwide health information infrastructure. The 2015 Edition rule builds on the foundation established with the 2011 and 2014 Editions to advance interoperability, and incorporates changes designed to foster innovation, open new market opportunities, and provide more choices to the care community when it comes to electronic health information exchange.
The Interoperability Roadmap Infographic shows the way to better health, smarter spending and healthier people using health IT.
Statements of Support
View the HHS press release and statements of support from private and public stakeholders.
Interoperability Standards Advisory
The Interoperability Standards Advisory (ISA) process represents the model by which the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) will coordinate the identification, assessment, and determination of the “best available” interoperability standards and implementation specifications for industry use to fulfill specific clinical health IT interoperability needs. For detailed background on the Advisory, its purpose, and its processes please review the 2015 Interoperability Standards Advisory.