Data standards may be wonky, but they will transform health care - STAT
The proposed rule creates a highly promising road map toward the easy exchange of electronic health information that exemplifies a minimalist regulatory approach for creating the standardization and uniformity needed to spark an apps marketplace. It would also create economic and commercial guardrails to promote a level playing field between electronic health record vendors and app developers. These regulations are an essential ingredient for a burgeoning apps market.
All six individuals who previously served as the national coordinator of health information technology have endorsed the rule. It has sparked robust conversation: During the public comment period on the proposed rule, nearly 2,000 comments were submitted about interoperability and information blocking. As might be expected, there is pushback from the electronic health record industry on timelines and price controls.
The proposed timeline — two years of development— has proven highly realistic, given the successful implementation of SMART on FHIR among the major brands of electronic health records by the Argonaut working group in just one year, and the work of the CARIN alliance to help connect patient apps to the SMART API.