Feds release draft interoperability standards for health IT

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The push for interoperability in health information technology continued this week with the release of draft standards for the industry by federal health IT officials.

The draft 2017 Interoperability Standards Advisory, published Monday, is a “coordinated catalog of standards and implementation specifications” for the health IT industry, according to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology

The federally recognized standards will serve as a “key element” as the health IT industry moves toward interoperability, ONC officials said. They also support a pledge from IT companies, providers and professional associations to adopt national standards, guidance and practices for electronic health information.

The draft standards include a call for feedback on several interoperability needs, including nursing assessments and interventions, functional status, and race and ethnicity.

Industry stakeholders will be able to provide comments on the proposal through Oct. 24.

“In short, by providing the industry with a single, public list of the standards and implementation specifications that can be consistently used to fulfill specific clinical interoperability needs, we hope to spur more seamless and secure flow of information across the health system,” wrote officials with the ONC's Office of Standards and Technology in a blog post.