March 16, 2020

Our Position on the Final Interoperability Rule of 21st Century Cures Act

Bill Kotraba

Topic:   Industry Focus

Last updated: February 2nd, 2021

Data is the lifeblood of healthcare. Yet most healthcare organizations continue to be challenged by siloed data, which results in inefficiencies, unrealized value, and limited operational insights. On a personal level, most of us in the U.S. experience this when we try to get a complete view of our medical records. It’s not easy.

During the current Coronavirus pandemic, we can imagine how having a patient’s medical records at a doctor’s fingertips becomes even more crucial – saving valuable time when assessing history, allergies, and other medical conditions to prioritize and optimize care.

There is no sign of things getting simpler. The complexity and ubiquity of data continually increases, coming from a widening ecosystem of sources, including exogenous social, economic, and behavioral factors. This is the problem we set out to solve with Omni-HealthData, our healthcare information management solution – to access, integrate, and harmonize diverse data sources to deliver the right data to the right end user at the right point of use/decision.

The final interoperability rule of the Cures Act announced last week by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) addresses interoperability standards and data blocking so individuals will be able to take control of their healthcare data, empowering patient-centered care and improving coordinated care. Specific changes in the rule establish Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) as the foundational standard to support data exchange via secure application programming interfaces (APIs).

“The days of patients being kept in the dark are over,” said Seema Verma, administrator of Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), in the long-awaited announcement from CMS and HHS’ Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology. “In today’s digital age, our health system’s data sharing capacity shouldn’t be mired in the stone age. Unfortunately, data silos continue to fragment care, burden patients and providers, and drive up costs through repeat tests.”

In today’s digital age, our health system’s data sharing capacity shouldn’t be mired in the stone age. Unfortunately, data silos continue to fragment care, burden patients and providers, and drive up costs through repeat tests.”

We support these interoperability rules and are thrilled to announce that Omni-HealthData will support FHIR API interoperability to both onboard and share patient data. FHIR standards will help facilitate data sharing around a common standard, but as the CMS points out, healthcare organizations will still need to bring together healthcare’s increasingly diverse data into a single source for information.

For example, in addition to clinical data, organizations are adding claims, user-generated and financial data, and social determinants for a more complete view of the patient journey and individual health, including episodic costs. Added to this are challenges such as patient and physician identification, industry code harmonization, value set creation, and metrics management – considerations which must be part of the data management process. We have been working hand-in-hand with leading healthcare organizations on Omni-HealthData’s design to enable them to use trusted and complete data to drive the care improvement and efficiency that is so badly needed.

We’re excited that data’s role in care transformation takes center stage with this recent announcement and Information Builders remains committed to helping healthcare organizations foster an insights-driven culture built on a trusted data foundation.

For a great overview of an innovative approach to a unified data exchange, check out this press release on the Health Collaborative and Information Builders Omni-HealthData Cloud Solution.

To learn more about our adoption of the FHIR standard and what it means for Omni-HealthData, read this press release.