ONC reveals next steps for HIE governance support

Fueled by the momentum of its new governance framework for electronic health information exchange unveiled earlier this month, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT wasted no time forging onward, providing an update on its continuing efforts to support HIE efforts and outlining its latest initiatives. 

The update by ONC officials and others, conducted by webinar hosted by the National eHealth Collaborative May 10, noted that ONC's "overarching goal" is for information to electronically follow a patient where and when it's needed, "across organizations, vendors and geographic boundaries." Speakers also stressed the importance of addressing HIE governance as HIE increases, noting that information exchange is an "integral" part of Stage 2 of the Meaningful Use Incentive Program. 

ONC, in April, awarded grants to Direct Trust and the New York eHealth Cooperative to develop governance policies and interoperability requirements. One of the next steps is to recruit participants for pilot programs to test models for electronic patient matching and querying of provider directories to support message exchange.

ONC and NeHC also have created a national information exchange governance forum to allow HIE governing entities to share best practices, support each other and assure the privacy and security of electronic exchange.

ONC originally had planned on issuing formal rules regarding HIE governance, but opted last December to provide voluntary guidance instead after receiving industry feedback. 

To learn more:
- listen to the webinar and download the slides (.pdf)