JASON Task Force pushes for narrowed MU Stage 3 focusing on interoperability

Meaningful Use Stage 3 requirements should be narrowed to more closely focus on interoperability, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT's JASON Task Force recommended in a meeting Wednesday.

At its September meeting, the task force pointed out that the JASON report found that 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. 

The October meeting focused on refining its draft recommendations to ONC's Health IT Policy Committee. Members supported the idea of moving a narrowed scope for Stage 3 to the top of the list.

"Learning the lessons from Meaningful Use Stage 2, the more we expand the complexity of Meaningful Use requirements, both on providers and vendors, the less capacity they have to do novel things. This is proposing that there be sort of a bargain here, which is to say if we really care about this, we should narrow the scope of Meaningful Use Stage 3 and associated certifications to focus on interoperability … and in return set a higher bar for interoperability, specifically related to the development of public APIs," explained co-chair Micky Tripathi.

The draft report also recommends that ONC develop a public-private vision and roadmap for a nationwide coordinated architecture for health IT. It calls for a coordinated architecture tapping into the dynamism of the market to foster innovation rather than a top-down directive. That architecture should be based on the use of a public API that enables data- and document-level access to EHR-based information.

Its recommendations include prohibiting vendors and providers from blocking access to the public API for competitive or proprietary reasons.

The final recommendations are to be submitted later this month.

Provider-based health IT professionals at a discussion hosted by the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives in Washington last month stressed that interoperability and Meaningful Use are intertwined, and that government-led creation and implementation of interoperability standards will be key.

To learn more:
- read the draft report

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