For health information exchange (HIE) to become widely adopted, the standards for HIE need to support advanced functions of electronic health records and address transport, security and content, according to the Health IT Standards Committee's Nationwide Health Information Network (NwHIN) Power Team.
The Power Team, in a Sept. 28 meeting, also expressed concern that the current standards are too complex, and that not all health care organizations would be able to use them, noting that "the set of standards, services, and policies that comprise the Nationwide Health Information Network must be deployable within an architectural framework capable of supporting the secure exchange of health information at a national scale."
The Power Team recommended that the "scalability" of the standards' underlying architectures and impacts on workflow needed to be better understood, and reassessed once they've been deployed at a larger scale "to determine suitability as a nationwide standard."
Farzad Mostashari, the national health IT coordinator, urged the HIT Standards Committee to lean forward with standards that are "good enough" to get started on robust HIE instead of waiting until they gain maturity and wide adoption, according to Government Health IT. "We can't afford to wait another five years before we have exchange in this country," he said.