Health Information Management

ONC releases final 2016 interoperability standards

HIM-HIPAA Insider, January 4, 2016

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The ONC published the final 2016 Interoperability Standards Advisory (ISA) December 22, 2015. The final version includes structural changes available in the fall 2015 draft version. Each standard and implementation specification is assigned six informative characteristics that describe its maturity and adoptability. These informative characteristics will also allow the measures and standards to be tracked as they progress through updates and version, and the rate at which they are adopted, ONC said in a blog post.

The 2016 ISA has undergone significant changes from the 2015 version. These changes are largely attributed to the two rounds of public comment periods ONC conducted, as well as recommendations from the HIT Standards Committee, according to ONC. The most notable changes and additions are:

  • The inclusion of “interoperability needs,” or desired outcomes for each standard
  • Informative characteristics to describe the status and adoption of each standard and implementation specification
  • Subsections that describe attributes or usage concerns such as limitations or general security recommendations
  • Security standards sources appendix
  • “Projected additions” section
  • Summary public comments that were not incorporated into the 2016 ISA including ONC’s responses
  • Revision history section

Other changes from the draft version include revisions and descriptions for the informative characteristics.

The 2016 ISA will serve as the basis for the 2017 version. The comment period to develop the 2017 version will begin early this year.

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