ONC's Karen DeSalvo outlines 3 steps to interoperability

National Coordinator for Health IT Karen DeSalvo continues to tout "the bright future" of health IT, outlining in a post at Health Affairs what needs to be done to get to full interoperability.

The ONC has spent the past year listening to leaders in the health community and developing strategies to promote interoperability, DeSalvo says in the post, based on her presentation at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society's annual conference in Chicago April 16.

"Our nation's success in adoption, and even the success we see in the increasingly widespread availability of exchange of health information, is just the beginning," she writes.

Her steps to getting to interoperability include:

  1. Standardizing application programming interfaces and implementation standards.
  2. Creating clarity around the environment of trust. "What are the shared expectations and actions around data security and privacy?" she asks.
  3. Providing incentives for interoperability and the appropriate uses of electronic health information.

However, she also writes about the problems states still face when it comes to adoption. In Alabama, for example, providers face a lack of broadband access in underserved communities. In New Jersey differing privacy laws in neighboring states are a barrier to information exchange, she writes.

"We have an ongoing cadence of work ahead. We will need an unprecedented amount of cooperation, collaboration, and transparency to see that there is the best public private partnership possible .… I am optimistic that together, we can reach our vision," she writes.

To learn more:
- read the post