FAQRA ONC Framework - American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA)

ONC Releases Proposed Interoperability Standards Measure Framework for Public Comment

In the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) legislation, Congress declared that achieving interoperability in the exchange of health information was a national objective. Interoperability in health information technology (health IT) is the ability for different systems and applications to communicate and exchange data productively. The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), a division within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), was tasked with overseeing and implementing measures surrounding this objective.

In April of 2017, ONC released its most recent interoperability initiative, the Proposed Interoperability Standards Measurement Framework, for public comment. The comment period closes on July 31, 2017. This proposed Framework is aimed at assessing progress in interoperability standards in health IT. The Framework seeks to identify current barriers to interoperability in standards implementation and gaps that need to be addressed. ONC’s Framework will measure the current state of both Standards Implementation in Health IT products and Standards Use to meet interoperability needs.

This Proposed Framework, if finalized, will be beneficial to physician anesthesiologists who have encountered interoperability issues with health IT products in their practices. One example of an interoperability priority for physician anesthesiologists is ensuring that vital sign data transmission is sufficient to support perioperative and intensive care unit data requirement. We hope that ONC’s Proposed Framework will address this issue and other interoperability issues anesthesiologists experience. First, ONC’s Framework will measure which interoperability standards have been implemented in a health IT product or service and how widely they have been adopted. Second, ONC will measure these standards to determine whether they are actually being used by the users. This will allow ONC to eliminate or refine interoperability standards that are not being employed or used properly. This will also allow ONC to continue to identify critical gaps in interoperability.

ASA staff will be tracking the Framework and, once it is finalized, will provide additional updates, especially since it exceeds standards set by ONC’s Certified Health IT (CEHRT) Product List. ASA continues to be involved in initiatives aimed at increasing interoperability in Health IT and CEHRT, as these have become increasingly more important after the implementation of MACRA. For more information on CEHRT and Health IT for physician anesthesiologists, please visit the ASA CEHRT Editions and Implementation page. 

About FAQRAs:

FAQRAs are created by ASA’s Department of Quality and Regulatory Affairs (QRA). These short articles address informative and relevant topics related to quality in anesthesia practice. For additional questions or information, please contact QRA at (202) 289-2222 or via email, qra@asahq.org.

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