The ONC has released a new toolkit designed to help rural healthcare players such as rural hospitals, critical access hospitals, clinics and state offices of rural health to participate in HIEs, iHealthBeat reports.
Here’s a summary of what the toolkit contains, courtesy of iHealthBeat:
- A guide — titled, “Health Information Exchange-First Considerations” — which covers the first steps in establishing or joining a health data exchange
- A spreadsheet — called the “ROI Calculator” — which helps determine possible costs and savings associated with implementing electronic health record systems and health information exchanges
- A guide — titled, “HIE Direct Guide” — which aims to help health care providers understand and implement data exchange using protocols from the federally developed Direct Project
- A tool — titled, “HIE Policy Matrix” — which includes policy recommendations adapted from the Connecting for Health Common Framework
- A guide — titled, “Privacy and Security Overview and Resource List” — which details privacy and security requirements for data exchanges
The toolkit release follows on ONC head Farzad Mostashari’s announcement that this will be the year providers are pushed hard to go for interoperability.
Expect to see more efforts of this kind as ONC nobly soldiers along, suffering from a trimmed budget due to sequestration, attempting to close the gaps vendors seem loathe to close.
Yes, as Mostashari notes in an interview with HealthcareITNews, Meaningful Use Stage 2 pushes the vendors a long way toward interoperability:
Vendors are really going to have to step up to the plate in terms of being able to achieve the Stage 2 expectations for true vendor-to-vendor coded, clinical structured, documents being able to have kind of ubiquitous protocols with security in place. That’s a big step for the industry and meaningful use Stage 2 sets the tempo and expectations for that.
But vendors have proved amazingly agile at wiggling out of interoperability promises to date. Let’s see if MU Stage 2 finally breaks the deadlock.