JASON Task Force Says Stage 3 Must Be Less Stringent

Mike Miliard | Government Health IT | October 6, 2014

Meaningful use stages 1 and 2 have failed to foster interoperability "in any practical sense."  That's the contention of Micky Tripathi, CEO of the Massachusetts eHealth Collaborative, and David McCallie, senior vice president of medical informatics at Cerner, co-chairs of ONC's joint HIT Policy and Standards Committee JASON task force.  And that makes it critical for the success of interoperability that Stage 3 meaningful use be less stringent, giving health IT vendors the necessary latitude to develop innovative products, according to a draft report from ONC's joint HIT Policy and Standards Committee JASON task force.

This is blamed on a lack of a comprehensive nationwide architecture for health information exchange, ingrained EHR technology and business practices – and more systemic impediments, such as lack of incentive for data sharing.  Toward that end, the JASON report calls for redoubled efforts toward a unified interoperability architecture, to move data from legacy IT systems to "a new centrally orchestrated architecture to better serve clinical care, research and patient uses."  Specifically, this architecture would be based on the use of public application programming interfaces for access to clinical documents and discrete data from EHRs, according to the report – alongside broader "consumer control of how data is used."

The task force's final draft offers a series of recommendations based upon its reading of the JASON report.  It makes the case that ONC should "take immediate actions to motivate a public-private vision and roadmap" for a nationwide architecture for data exchange – an effort that, ideally, would nudge market forces toward developing data sharing networks that would deploy public API that would expose core data services and core data profiles."  Specifically, "in order to allow vendors and providers to focus their efforts on interoperability, CMS and ONC should narrow the scope of MU Stage 3 and associated certification to focus on interoperability in return for higher requirements for interoperability," the report reads...