Written by David Navarro, Senior Director of Data Science, Harmony Healthcare IT The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) covered a lot of ground at its annual meeting this year. Interoperability, as a part of the 21st Century Cures Act (Cures Act) was a primary theme with breakout sessions and resources shared with attendees to help address concerns and implementation schedules. Micky Tripathi, ONC’s Coordinator for Health Information Technology at the Department of Health and Human Services, shared in his opening remarks: The important thing for us all to remember about innovation is that it’s not a thing, it’s a mindset. It can be boxed in with a million different design decisions about policies and technologies and workflows that prevent us from even realizing that we’ve boxed ourselves in. Our job in health IT is to not allow technology to box us in. He went on to talk about how health IT is charged with creating open architectures, both from a policy and technical perspective with the expectation of systems interacting with each other across organizational lines to break down silos. Legacy Data Management Removes Silos and Supports Compliance with Cures Act Rules The electronic health record (EHR) is charged with housing current records and sharing those health records. Likewise, a legacy data archive, which centralizes records from a vast array of out-of-production software in the healthcare delivery organization (HDO), must serve up interoperable data when called to do so. HDOs must define their data set and make sure it adheres to regulations like the information blocking rule of the Cures Act. Harmony Healthcare IT is focused on removing data silos and improving long-term access to usable, secure, and compliant data for HDOs. ONC Meeting Focus: Driving Interoperability with Modern Solutions Key themes discussed throughout the annual meeting centered on health IT solutions that are vital for the industry to fully realize the Cures Act interoperability requirements: TEFCA – The Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement to facilitate the exchange of health data across a national network. For more on TEFCA, check out my blog: Understanding TEFCA and its Role in National Interoperability. USCDI – The United States Core Data for Interoperability (USCDI) is a standardized set of health data classes (categories) and constituent data elements for interoperable health information exchange. USCDI serves as a minimum guide for provider organizations on what data classes and elements will be stored and made interoperable. For more on USCDI, check out my blog: USCDI: Supporting Interoperability Requirements of the Cures Act. HL7 FHIR API – The Final Rule of the Cures Act requires many modern technologies that need to be integrated to enable health information interoperability. This includes HL7 Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources Application Programming Interfaces, and specifically targets APIs that have the greatest impact on patient care. For more information, check out my blog: 21st Century Cures Act and the Push for REST API Adoption Prepare to move forward with interoperability best practices to meet Cures Act requirements. As a data management firm that moves and stores patient, employee and business records for healthcare organizations, Harmony Healthcare IT can help your team address its lifecycle data management strategy and implementation plans. Whether you are preparing active or legacy patient records for interoperability, our team of data experts may be called upon to assist with the development of your strategy and contemplation of how legacy data will play a role. If you are ready to get started on talking about your health data and the need for interoperability, contact our team. Additional Resources Recap of the 2022 ONC Annual Meeting Part 1 Watch the 2022 ONC Virtual Annual Meeting On-Demand HL7 Resources As Senior Director of Data Science at Harmony Healthcare IT, David Navarro drives interoperability initiatives and focuses on the curation and accessibility of data in the healthcare ecosystem.