Opportunities for Engaging Long-Term and Post-Acute Care Providers in Health Information Exchange Activities: Exchanging Interoperable Patient Assessment Information. Nationwide Health Information Technology Infrastructure

12/01/2011

HITECH requires the development of a nationwide health information technology infrastructure that allows for the electronic use and exchange of information. The Federal Health IT Strategic Plan recently released by the Office of the National Coordinator describes several challenges to creating a national infrastructure that will enable healthcare providers and others to efficiently connect with one another in a cost-effective manner. To address some of these challenges federal and state governments and the private sector are working to develop the Nationwide Health Information Network standards, services, and policies including the Nationwide Health Information Exchange and Direct protocols to support health information exchange across organizational and geographic boundaries.

ONC anticipates that the use of the Direct Project protocols will make it easier, faster, more secure, and less expensive to transport health information. The Direct project at ONC enables a simple, secure, scalable, standards-based way to send authenticated, encrypted information directly to known, trusted recipients over the Internet. Direct helps some providers satisfy the stage one meaningful use requirements by allowing a secure method of pushing content from a sender to a receiver (for example, sending a secure email with a clinical summary of a patient to a referring specialist). Direct is a national solution to health information exchange that can rapidly lower the cost and complexity of local interfaces between providers, laboratories, hospitals, pharmacies, and patients, in turn substantially lowering the cost of providing information exchange services.11

At the 2011 LTPAC Health IT Summit, the Director of Standards & Interoperability in the Office of the National Coordinator described the work underway in the S&I Framework Transitions of Care Initiative. The Transition of Care Initiative includes:

  • Standards:

    • "Building blocks" of information related to transitions of care
    • Shows union of how all information works
  • Implementation Guide

    • Long-term care is a key consideration
  • Crosswalk between Patient Assessment Summary Document and C3212

 

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