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ONC Declares Winning Solutions of Health IT Innovation Challenge

ONC chose two winners to receive cash prizes as part of its innovation challenge for health data integrity.

ONC chooses health IT innovation challenge winners.

Source: Thinkstock

By Kate Monica

- ONC recently announced the Phase 2 winners of its health data provenance challenge intended to spur health IT innovation.

The federal agency launched the challenge in April 2017 to promote the development of solutions capable of improving health data integrity to ensure EHR systems are using high-quality, reliable clinical data. Improved health data integrity helps to ensure only accurate data is circulating provider EHR systems and health information exchanges (HIEs).

Determining health data provenance involves using identifying information about data to establish the ‘who, what, when where, and how’ of data and health data exchange. EHR systems increasingly use health data provenance to find information errors and improve health data accuracy, patient safety, and patient health outcomes.

Health IT innovators 1upHealth and RAIN Live Oak Technology submitted the winning solutions to ONC’s health data provenance innovation challenge.

1upHealth developed a solution that involves using its partner’s provider application to surface provenance information and help providers find aggregated data from various sources through Health Level Seven’s (HL7) Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) standard). The solution also leveraged blockchain to improve health data provenance.

Rain Live Oak developed a software toolkit enabling health IT systems of any size to integrate health data provenance into their data flow without disrupting existing practices or data repository requirements.

“Ensuring provenance of data is an important step in achieving interoperability of health information,” said ONC National Coordinator for Health Information Technology Don Rucker, MD.

“We look forward to seeing these winning submissions being implemented in electronic products that will allow for the secure, trustworthy, and reliable exchange of health information,” he continued.

These solutions can help health IT users and healthcare organizations confirm the authenticity of the data they receive.

The challenge included two phases. In Phase 1, participants were required to submit white papers outlining methods their team currently uses to identify health data provenance. Teams were then tasked with identifying a problem they encountered when attempting to acquire an optimal amount of provenance data and outline a potential solution to this problem.

As part of Phase 2, challenge participants submitted a recorded demonstration, solution guide, and lessons learned focused on prototyping and testing solution effectiveness.

Implementing a standardized approach to health data provenance helps to ensure a high level of data integrity across EHR systems.  The winning submissions included innovative and standardized solutions to yield improvements in health data provenance and enable the healthcare industry to further improve health data exchange.

The ONC health data provenance challenge is the latest successful effort by the federal agency to drive innovation through competition.

In November 2017, ONC announced three winners for its Patient Matching Algorithm Challenge. Winners were chosen from a pool of more than 140 competing teams.

Vynca, PICSURE, and Information Softworks each submitted algorithms designed to identify and match data about a patient held by one healthcare provider with data about the same patient contained within the same system or different systems. The winners won cash prizes amounting to a total of $75,000.

In January 2016, the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) launched a similar competition — the National Patient ID Challenge Initiative — but ultimately suspended the $1-million competition for failing to achieve the desired results to develop a solution capable of achieving 100-percent accuracy in patient EHR matching. The organization is currently working to pursue a new approach to driving innovation for a nationwide patient identification solution.

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