Two associations representing hospitals have asked the government not to include metadata standards in Stage 2 of Meaningful Use, saying the standards are still under development and not ready for general use.
The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME), in its letter to Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, stated, "We do not believe enough progress has been made, or evidence gathered, to support the technologies and strategies needed to include metadata standards as part of Meaningful Use Stage 2."
However, CHIME added that its members would like to assist the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT in "establishing implementation guidelines" when the metadata standards are ready for use.
In a similar letter to ONC, the American Hospital Association (AHA) stated that the metadata standards "have not been adequately analyzed or tested in the real world to know if they are appropriate for widespread use at this time."
ONC recently said that it would conduct two tests of these standards. The first project, called the Query Health Initiative, will pilot standards for querying electronic health records and other widely distributed databases. The other program, the Data Segmentation Initiative, will assess standards designed to let patients block the release of sensitive healthcare information.