2016 Interoperability Standards Advisory Released

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) recently announced its 2016 Interoperability Standards Advisory which remains focused on clinical health information technology interoperability. When compared to 2015 Advisory, the 2016 Advisory has been significantly updated with updates and improvements mostly due to the two rounds of public comment and recommendations from the HIT Standards Committee. Changes include:

  1. Each referenced standard is not associated with a set of six informative characteristics to give readers a sense of adoptability
  2. Subsections now exist to identify limitations, identify codes or terms for each need and identify reusable security techniques
  3. A security standards sources appendix is included
  4. A public comments summary has been added (as well as ONC planned action)

More detailed information is expected as the ONC states, “The ISA is a continuous, annual process where we make updates and improvements in order to keep pace with developments in the health IT industry and the draft 2017 Advisory will be published in only nine ‘short’ months.”

When President Obama signed The Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2015 in November the legislation included nine pages of healthcare-related cybersecurity measures including the mandate that a taskforce be formed within 90 days of enactment by HHS, Homeland Security and the National Institute of Standards and Technology leaders. This group will assess private healthcare challenges and  will be tasked with determining Electronic Health Record (EHR) and interoperability issues.


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