Interop300The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) has issued a request for input that can be used in designing metrics for measuring progress toward a future of free-flowing health data between providers and patients with the aim of generating improved care, curbed spending and a healthier population.

According to the ONC’s Request for Information, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) “declares it a national objective to achieve widespread exchange of health information through interoperable certified electronic health record (EHR) technology nationwide by December 31, 2018.” In addition, as explained in a post on the ONC’s Health IT Buzz Blog, the act also charges the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) with the responsibility of consulting with the health IT community to establish metrics that can be used in determining whether or not this objective has been met.

The ONC is requesting input based on the following three questions:

  1. What populations and elements of information flow should we measure?
  2. How can we use current data sources and associated metrics to address the MACRA requirements?
  3. What other data sources and metrics should HHS consider to measure interoperability more broadly?

In addition to helping with the development of interoperability metrics, input from the health IT community will help HHS gauge its pace in achieving overall objectives laid out in its Interoperability Roadmap and the Federal Health IT Strategic Plan.

The public comment period will close on June 3, 2016. To view and download the ONC’s Request for Information, including directions for submitting input, click here.