Providers uncertain industry will stick to ONC interoperability timeline

Less than 20 percent of healthcare professionals say they are "very confident" the industry will meet the 10-year goal for nationwide interoperability, according to a survey by HIPAA document management company Scrypt.

The company asked 769 healthcare providers about interoperability, as well as their attitudes toward HIPAA compliance within their organization.

The Interoperability Roadmap from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology calls for a more connected healthcare system by 2017. However, consensus on how to achieve interoperability may prove elusive, as FierceEMR's Marla Durben Hirsch has pointed out.

Of the 58 public comments received on ONC's 2015 Interoperability Standards Advisory, the first deliverable in support of the agency's national interoperability roadmap, the only things stakeholders agreed on was the need for strong privacy and security standards.

Though 46 percent of respondents to the survey say they are "somewhat confident" that the interoperability timeline will be met, the report characterizes the responses as a lack of confidence in ONC's plan.

The report also asked providers about their concerns when it comes to cybersecurity. Sixty-nine percent of respondents said that recent breaches had no effect on their organization's HIPAA-compliance policies because they feel confident with the controls they have in place. Only 10 percent said recent breaches definitely had affected their compliance policies.

"It is somewhat disconcerting that there isn't a more robust incident response culture and perhaps more worrisome is the seeming lack of preparation of preventing an attack before it happens," the study's authors noted.

To learn more:
- read the announcement
- get the report (registration required)