Government and healthcare industry groups have responded to an interoperability draft from the Office for the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology. This plan, entitled "Connecting Health and Care for the Nation: A Shared Nationwide Interoperability Roadmap Draft Version 1.0," lays out the possible goals and strategies of federal health IT, including expanding adoption and strengthening delivery.
In response to this document, different organizations submitted comments referring to specific aspects of the plan. Among these is the Federal Trade Commission, which sent a letter to Dr. Karen DeSalvo, National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, identifying the points that they agreed with. Though the FTC agreed with some of the assertions put forward in the plan, they argued against others in regards to the competition between technical core standards, for example.
"The Roadmap suggests that it will be beneficial for industry to converge on a limited set of dominant standard," the letter reads. "While this approach may enable consumers to more easily switch between different products, thereby stimulating competition between products compatible with the dominant standard, it may also diminish competition between different standards."
Another group that submitted comments addressed to DeSalvo this month was the Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange, or WEDI. This letter includes information from a recent online survey which found that 67 percent of respondents are part of organizations taking part in EHR meaningful use, and that there is a mixed level of customer demand for sharing electronic health data among organizations.
As a part of the healthcare IT consulting it offers, LW Consulting Inc. will perform operational assessments that reflect the specific operations a client organization is taking part in. For important initiatives like interoperability, guidance helps lay out the steps for improvement, proceeding directly from where an organization currently is.