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AMIA Seeking Interoperability, Health Data Exchange Testing

AMIA calls on NITRD to investigate interoperability and health data exchange testing in response to a recent national request for comment.

Health IT Interoperability

Source: Thinkstock

By Kate Monica

- The American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) recently submitted comments to the Networking and Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD) Program requesting further exploration of interoperability testing and other areas likely to improve health data exchange.

NITRD’s Health Information Technology Research and Development Interagency Working Group (HITRD IWG) published a request for comment on its draft federal health IT research and development strategic framework at the end of May.

The framework is designed to assist federal agencies in exchanging information regarding their health IT programs, coordinate health It research and development plans and activities, promote synergy across federal health IT investments, and outline research and development needs to policymakers.

As part of the framework, NITRD included a description of motivators, needs, and collaboration opportunities for health IT research and development as well as a grid displaying current investments in the industry.

In its response to the request for comment, AMIA offered a list of recommendations advocating for further research and development related to interoperability testing, granular health IT data standards, data portability, and modern healthcare workforce training.  

In regards to drivers motivating health IT research and development, AMIA submitted the following four recommendations to improve the framework:  

Additionally, AMIA highlighted a need for advancements in the following three areas: 

The framework will be useful in providing a comprehensive description of the current state of health IT and the areas in need of investments for all stakeholders and federal agencies.

“These kinds of interagency efforts are tremendously important,” said AMIA CEO & President Douglas B. Fridsma, MD, PhD. “Federal R&D support is necessary to help the private sector achieve the promise of a networked, connected health ecosystem. AMIA is glad to lend our members’ informatics expertise to this framework so it can guide and prioritize federal investments for years to come.”

Similarly, ONC is gearing up for a series of three public stakeholder meetings starting on July 24 to begin developing a trusted exchange framework and common agreement as outlined in the 21 Century Cures Act.

The meetings will be used to gather information on ways to achieve industry-wide standardization to improve health data exchange and interoperability. 



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