Joint Commission calls for national HIE

Last week, the Joint Commission became the latest healthcare organization to pitch the idea of a single, national infrastructure for sharing data between providers. The group sees such a step as an extension of a safety initiative it launched in 2001. In its recent white paper (.pdf), "Development of a National Performance Data Strategy," the group proposes a list of 22 principles that it believes should guide the effort, including using interoperable technology, developing standardized definitions to measure the information, creating an entity that oversees the system and developing consensus rules for transparency and data access between providers. The white paper also makes the too-seldom-emphasized point that such an infrastructure will need sustainable funding from public and private-sector sources. What's particularly interesting about the report is that even though it's saying the same things insider HIT groups are, the Joint Commission is likely to be heard by those outside IT circles, since it has a broader mandate. This looks like progress.

To learn more about the paper:
- read this Modern Healthcare article (reg. req.)
- read the Joint Commission paper (.pdf)

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