In an hour long briefing call two weeks ago, the HISTC Workgroup chairs evaluated each HIT Policy Committee request for standards and suggested to ONC those standards harmonization activities, hearings, and educational sessions that would be most helpful. ONC incorporated all the recommendations of the chairs into its go forward planning.
The entire committee agreed with the plan, which includes agenda for the next several Standards Committee meetings, the scheduling of expert testimony, and a dialog with the HIT Policy Committee to seek clarification about several requests.
Farzad Mostashari then gave introductory remarks describing the budget request for ONC's work which is modestly higher than its 2012 request and has not substantially changed since 2007 despite a doubling of responsibilities.
Clinical Trials, Clinical Research, and quality measures often require structured data capture from providers and patients. Evelyn Gallego and Doug Fridsma presented the structured data capture initiative which will require some basic ontologies in order to ensure data elements are comparable across studies and institutions.
Micky Tripathi joined by phone and summarized the HITPC Information Exchange Workgroup comments on the CMS/ONC RFI on Interoperability and Exchange. His comments about payment policy incentives, infrastructure enablers, and state-level program opportunities was very well received.
Finally, Mary Jo Deering and Kory Mertz updated the committee on HIE Governance efforts including two cooperative agreements - New York eHealth Collaborative and DirectTrust to pilot standards and trust fabric approaches that may be scalable to the entire nation.
A very positive meeting. Given that HITSC was created by ARRA (legislation), it will not sunset because of an administration change, as happened to HITSP. I proudly concluded the meeting by noting that our work plans will continue to be filled with opportunities to accelerate interoperability for the next several years.