In his informative MedCity News article Leveraging the cloud to meet the ONC final rule compliance deadline, Cloudticity CEO Gerry Miller explains how the ONC Final Rule deadline signals it is high time for health providers, networks, and vendors to evolve their IT infrastructure — and why the cloud really is the only way forward. As he writes:
“The goal is true healthcare data portability nationwide with agile and standardized data exchange processes. The specific computing standards supported must include:
- HL7 Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR): Defines the content and structure of core health data with standardized applications.
- SMART IG/OAuth 2.0/OpenID Connect: Secure application architecture access authorization, and communications authentication built on top of it.
- United States Core Data for Interoperability (USCDI): Data classes and data elements standardized in sets for interoperable health information exchange nationwide.
Limits on information blocking and anti-competitive practices are also outlined in the Final Rule — and the feds are serious about getting information moving. With very few exceptions, patients make the final decision on what applications obtain access to their electronic health information, which ‘includes, but is not limited to’ a long list defined in 45 CFR 160.103 that ‘may also be provided, directly from an individual, or from technology that the individual has elected to use, to an actor covered by the information blocking provisions.’”
But there are serious obstacles facing the healthcare sector in the race to compliance:
”Most legacy health IT systems use a variety of incompatible (often proprietary) technologies that cannot play nicely with others and tend to lock data into siloed formats...even with unlimited resources and unlimited staff (not exactly hallmarks in healthcare), yesterday’s IT strategies simply don’t fly in modern conditions — and they certainly aren’t up to the challenges of healthcare’s future, much less today’s FHIR formats and Final Rule requirements.”