JASON task force: 'Parallel' architecture paths needed for interoperability

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT should consider some but not all of the findings of the JASON report in going forward with Stage 3 of Meaningful Use and interoperability, according to ONC's JASON task force.

In a report presented to ONC's Health IT Policy Committee on Sept. 3, the task force pointed out that the JASON report--which found Meaningful Use's Stage 1 and 2 had not achieved "meaningful interoperability" and stressed a need to create a unifying software architecture using application programming interfaces--is based on out-of-date data. 

"Current EHR systems have much more functionality ... than JASON gives them credit for," said Micky Tripathi, co-chair of the task force.

JASON is an independent group of scientists that advises the government on science and technology.

The task force made a number of additional preliminary recommendations, such as accelerating parallel paths of the current Consolidated Clinical Document Architecture (C-CDA) being used in Stage 2, as well as HL7 Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR), which at the moment is the "best candidate" to leverage existing structures.

The task force also recommended that ONC should consider Stage 3 as one of "many levers" to promote industry advancement of JASON goals, especially because the 2017 edition of certification will not provide enough time to move to APIs.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Office for Civil Rights also should help to clarify the degree to which patients and consumers can control access and use of their personal health data via portals.

"It's a huge opportunity but needs rules of the road," said David McCallie, task force co-chair.

The task force's recommendations will be finalized in October.

The interoperability workgroup governance subgroup also reported on some of its activities and concerns about data sharing but will not be providing recommendations until later this month.

Stakeholders have expressed concern that EHRs lack the ability to effectively share data but have differing views about how the industry should become interoperable and whether it could transition APIs and FHIR in time for Stage 3 of the Meaningful Use program.

To learn more:
- check out the JASON task force's slides