Federal Advisers Share Comments, Concerns About Draft Interoperability Road Map

Dan Bowman | Fierce Health IT | October 15, 2014

In presenting an updated version of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT's draft interoperability road map to a joint meeting of the federal Health IT Policy and Standards Committees on Wednesday, Erica Galvez, ONC's interoperability and exchange portfolio manager, made clear that many efforts going forward will be about balance and tradeoffs.  "We probably can't meet every need perfectly," Galvez said. "At the end of the day, interoperability is about people.

Galvez emphasized that the "device agnostic" document focuses not only on interoperability between electronic health records, but also interoperability between a number of different data sources and systems. Calling interoperability a "tremendously complex topic," she added that ONC doesn't want to be bound by a core set of use cases for fear of being stuck with guidance that doesn't meet stakeholder needs.  Galvez also stressed that the path to interoperability must be an incremental build.

"However much we wish we could wake up tomorrow and flip a switch and interoperability will just happen, this is going to be a process and it's going to be a journey," Galvez said.  Stakeholders from each committee shared comments and concerns both prior to and following Galvez's presentation. For instance, after Galvez set up an initial framework to discuss the road map--sharing with attendees a positive trend for interoperability efforts--Gayle Harrell, a member of the Florida state House of Representatives who serves on the HIT Policy Committee, took issue with ONC's statistics...