ONC workgroup to recommend flexible HIE patient record queries

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT is leaning toward simplified and generalized health information exchange patient record queries for Stage 3 of Meaningful Use, according to Government Health IT.

Micky Tripathi, founding CEO of the Massachusetts eHealth Collaborative and chair of the Information Exchange Workgroup, reported at ONC's health IT Policy Committee meeting July 9 that the workgroup received 102 comments on queries for patient records in its recent request for comments, significantly more than comments received about provider directories or data portability, also important components of HIE queries.

He stated that in response to the comments, the workgroup's preliminary recommendations call for HIE queries and responses be in a single, or at least a minimal, process transaction, and flexible enough to accommodate workflows, use cases and legal or policy differences among states.

However, "lack of standards [for provider directories] appears to be an obstacle to faster progress in Stage 2 directed exchange and, unless remedied, may impede Stage 3 query exchange as well," Tripathi added, according to the article.

The Health IT Policy Committee and the Health IT Standards Committee both were created by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to provide health IT recommendations to ONC. Meetings and committee agendas are open to the public.

HIE is a major component of Stage 3 of the Meaningful Use incentive program. It's currently slated to go into effect in 2016.

To learn more:
- read the Government Health IT article
- listen to the meeting
- read the workgroup's report (.pdf)