By Blair Childs, senior vice president of Public Affairs, Premier, Inc.
After weeks of hearings on achieving the promise of health IT (HIT), there is nearly unanimous agreement across the industry that lack of interoperability standards is holding our healthcare system back. In many respects, these standards are the essential foundation needed to realize virtually all care quality and efficiency gains promised by HIT.
While we applaud work already done to date, members of the Premier alliance strongly urge the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) to fast track the impending release of its roadmap to address the technical standards, certification requirements, privacy/security standards and other initiatives that will enable true HIT interoperability. These standards are critical to ensuring that health records can be securely accessed by authorized healthcare providers, viewed online by patients and their families and made compatible with other IT assets in order to provide a more complete picture of outcomes and individual risk factors. They are also central to providers’ ability to use IT to better coordinate and manage care for beneficiaries in bundled payment or accountable care programs.
True interoperability is needed to unlock Big Data in healthcare, optimize HIT investments, improve the quality of care across settings and avoid the cost burdens associated with the one-off interoperability solutions.
– Blair Childs, senior vice president of Public Affairs, Premier, Inc.