ONC unveils draft 2016 Interoperability Standards Advisory for comment

A draft 2016 Interoperability Standards Advisory has been released by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT and reflects updates based on input obtained from the public as well as the Health IT Standards Committee.

The new draft advisory is open for public comment, and will be altered during the comment period. A final advisory will be published at the end of the year, according to ONC.

Discussion on the scope of the 2015 advisory was wide-ranging and has little consistency, FierceEMR previously reported.

At a meeting in late June, the Health IT Standards Committee Advisory Task Force said 59 comments were received on the 2015 advisory, and that stakeholders appeared divided. Thirty-two commenters were supportive, eight were not, and 19 were neutral about it.

However, feedback is "critical," ONC says about the 2016 advisory, especially on new subsections that were left intentionally incomplete to give the public an early chance to weigh in.

Some differences between the 2015 and 2016 advisories include the ways in which content is organized and annotated. Examples include that instead of leading a section with reference to a general purpose, it will now convey an "interoperability need." In addition, there are two subsections for each interoperability need; one section identifies know limitations to best practices and the other focuses on reusable security techniques for interoperability needs.  

Comments on the 2016 draft are due by 5 p.m. on Nov. 5.  

The 2015 draft advisory was announced in late January at the same time ONC unveiled its 10-year interoperability roadmap for public comment.

An updated standards advisory will be released every December, Steven Posnack, director of the Office of Standards and Technology, said at the time.

"It is designed to be an interactive process that will ultimately result in an annual list of standards and implementation specifications for a broad range of clinical health IT interoperability purposes," he said.

To learn more:
- here's the draft 2016 advisory (.pdf)
- make comments on the draft here