The White House is making interoperability a priority



The federal government is ready to achieve interoperability, and its taking a "whole of government" approach to make that happen, Jared Kushner, senior adviser to President Donald Trump, said March 6 according to Nextgov.

With help from the Office of American Innovation -- a division Mr. Kushner heads up -- the White House is making "citizen access to health records and interoperability a top priority," Mr. Kushner said at the annual Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society conference, according to Nextgov.

His speech came the same day CMS launched a new initiative, called MyHealthEData, aimed at increasing Medicare beneficiaries access to their own health records. As part of the effort, CMS is requiring providers update their systems to ensure data sharing, and it intends to require a patient's data to follow them after they are discharged from the hospital.

"The time is now to align every facet of the federal government and the private sector to ensure information is communicated and shared seamlessly. Simply put, interoperability is about our shared bottom line: saving lives," he said.

Mr. Kushner highlighted the interoperability problems plaguing the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs as an example interoperability challenges, Nextgov reports. Over the last 20 years, the VA has spent nearly $2 billion on efforts to build an interoperable system without success, but more recently, it has been evaluating the data sharing capabilities of Cerner, the EHR it intends to transition to.

"This was a huge win for our service members," Mr. Kushner said. "But the president is determined to make interoperability a reality for all Americans. This is an issue that impacts every hospital, care provider and patient in our country. Now that electronic health records have become digitized over the past decade, complete interoperability is the logical next step."

He added the administration talked with more than 100 stakeholders -- including healthcare providers, health IT companies and patient advocacy groups -- over the last six months to develop an interagency plan that would enhance patient access to and sharing of health records. However, Mr. Kushner did not elaborate on what that plan may entail, Nextgov reports.

"This is the essence of our administration's goals for healthcare. More decision-making in the hands of the customer. Medical data belongs to the patients," he said. "Our vision will apply a whole of government approach that we hope will unleash private sector innovation. Together, we hope to lead a whole of country approach."

Source: Becker's Hospital Review (View full article)

Posted by Dan Corcoran on March 9, 2018 06:46 AM

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