Assistant professor of information Julia Adler-Milstein will join a short-term task force assembled by the Health IT Policy Committee (HITPC), a federal advisory committee to The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC).
The HITPIC makes policy recommendations on the development and adoption of a nationwide health information infrastructure, which includes standards for the exchange of patient medical information. The task force will be responsible for reviewing clinical, technical, organizational and financial barriers to interoperability (information exchange across diverse information systems) within the healthcare sector.
Formed at the request of Congress, the task force is expected to submit its final recommendations on October 14. This move is part of a larger discussion about information blocking and policy standards for increasing interoperability in healthcare.
“We’ve heard before…how big a difference medical records can make for patients and their families,” said Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) at a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) committee meeting earlier this week. “And because a strong national health IT system depends on different electronic health record systems being able to talk to each other, we simply can’t afford to…block information that hospitals, providers, and patients need to be able to share with one another.”
ONC is the principal federal entity responsible for coordinating nationwide efforts to advance health information technology and the electronic exchange of health information.
In March, Adler-Milstein testified before a Congressional committee exploring why hospitals have been slow to adopt electronic health record systems.