Interoperability roundup: EHI compliance guidance, LOINC updates and more

At the outset of 2023, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology’s analysis of interoperability and methods of exchange among hospitals, which looked at experiences and data from 2017-2021, indicated significant growth in interoperability among hospitals. “As of 2021, 88% of hospitals engaged in electronically sending and obtaining patient health information, through either querying or electronically receiving a summary of care records,” ONC said.

ONC’s goal for interoperability barriers – such as the 48% of hospitals reporting one-sided sharing relationships in which they share patient data with other providers who do not – are to be addressed by the Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement framework as a universal policy for nationwide interoperability. For the barriers to information exchange that remain, there are many moving parts related to the Cures Act.

New LOINC release with 1,945 new concepts

Logical Observation Identifiers Names and Codes from Regenstrief Institute is issuing its semiannual content update with 1,945 new concepts to help health systems, laboratories and other health organizations exchange medical data, according to Tuesday’s announcement. 

The release, LOINC version 2.75, contains newly created content based on requests submitted by stakeholders from more than 100 countries. It is available on the LOINC website and via the LOINC Terminology Service using HL7 FHIR at no cost.

“Issuing these concepts semiannually helps support the exchange and aggregation of clinical results for the benefit of care delivery,” said Marjorie Rallins, executive director of LOINC and Health Data Standards. 

“The users’ ability to download LOINC or utilize HL7 FHIR for version 2.75 concepts facilitates the seamless movement of healthcare data.”

ONC summarizes EHI export requirements

Because certified health IT modules must electronically export all electronic health information stored at the time of certification and make the functionality available to end users by December 31 under § 170.315(b)(10), ONC posted a Quick Guide for EHI exports on Tuesday.

Single patient EHI export functionality must allow for the export of patient data at any time the user chooses without developer assistance, ONC noted in the agency’s blog post.

Similarly, the patient population export functionality must include all available patient population EHI, be exported in an electronic and computable format and include a publicly accessible hyperlink of the export’s format. However, patient population EHI export can involve additional action or support on the part of the certified health IT developer.

In the post, ONC offers information about formats and requirements as well as additional resources.

ONC said, “A helpful process for determining whether a Health IT Module should be certified is to ask the following questions:”

If the answer is yes to both, then the health IT module is required to certify.

The Sequoia Project to continue as RCE

The Sequoia Project announced Monday that ONC had chosen the organization to continue as the recognized coordinating entity for TEFCA.

“The Sequoia Project and our RCE team are extremely proud of TEFCA’s progress to date, and we look forward to bringing its promise and benefits to reality soon,” Mariann Yeager, the organization’s CEO said in a statement. 

“We couldn’t have gotten this far without close collaboration with ONC and the candidate [Qualified Health Information Networks].

Andrea Fox is senior editor of Healthcare IT News.
Email: [email protected]

Healthcare IT News is a HIMSS Media publication.

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