The Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology should measure not only electronic health information exchange and use, but the availability of standards, structures and infrastructure to support those goals, AHA said in comments submitted to the agency today. “Without those building blocks in place, providers are challenged to efficiently and effectively exchange and use health information,” wrote Ashley Thompson, AHA senior vice president for public policy analysis and development. The letter responds to an ONC request for information on how to measure the achievement of widespread exchange of health information through interoperable certified electronic health record technology by the end of 2018, as required by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act. Among other comments, AHA recommends ONC broaden the scope of data sharing it measures and how it determines whether shared information is being used for care. It also notes the limits to meaningful use data for assessing interoperability.

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