Resources Assess Good Practices for Information Blocking Compliance and the Implications of an Expanded Definition of Electronic Health Information
(Vienna, VA – August 8, 2022) –The Sequoia Project, a non-profit and trusted advocate for nationwide health information exchange, released a set of draft resources for public feedback designed to help regulated entities better comply with the information blocking requirements of the 21st Century Cures Rule. The resources include:
- “Good practices” for information sharing and information blocking compliance
- Operational implications of the move to an expanded definition of electronic health information (EHI)
- A further exploration of the expanded definition of EHI and related considerations
- An infographic that visualizes the range of information systems and connections implicated by the expanded definition of EHI
- A set of ongoing and new policy considerations
These documents were developed by The Sequoia Project’s Information Blocking Compliance Workgroup (IBWG), which is supported by The Sequoia Project’s Interoperability Matters initiative. Feedback is requested through August 19. The public can submit feedback via an online form or email InteropMatters@sequoiaproject.org.
“This body of work was the result of intensive collaboration among IBWG members and we are excited to move forward with the release of these resources for public review prior to their publication in September,” said Mariann Yeager, chief executive officer of The Sequoia Project. “Workgroup members and additional subject matter experts volunteered their considerable expertise and time to develop these deliverables and we look forward to the community’s feedback.”
The IBWG developed these resources to support the healthcare industry as it navigates compliance with the information blocking rules issued by the federal government’s Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC), including considerations that arise from the move to the full definition of EHI beginning October 6, 2022. These resources will help with the transition to a culture of health information sharing that supports health and care within the context of existing rules.
“The IBWG represents diverse experts in the field, allowing us to take a wide array of stakeholder groups into consideration when developing these resources,” said Dr. Matthew Eisenberg, associate chief medical information officer at Stanford Health Care and IBWG co-chair. “We look forward to the additional feedback from the public to further improve these resources so that the broad health IT community can better define and adopt full EHI sharing”.
“IBWG members and industry experts have helped develop these important resources to help the healthcare industry navigate the requirements,” said Josh Mast, product regulatory strategist at Oracle Cerner and IBWG co-chair. “The public and health IT community’s feedback will help accelerate interoperability to ultimately support caregivers as they provide better healthcare for patients.”
“It was a great experience to work with colleagues from the industry to develop the draft resources,” said Ammon Fillmore, associate chief legal officer, Information & Technology, at AdventHealth and IBWG co-chair. “Thank you to the IBWG members for their time and expertise and The Sequoia Project for providing the opportunity to do so.”
Resources Available for Comment
“Good practices” for information sharing and information blocking compliance
This resource identifies approaches to compliance that span Actor categories (providers, developers of certified health IT and health information networks), as well as some that apply to specific Actors.
Operational implications of the move to an expanded definition
This resource presents seven operational steps relevant for many Actors as they prepare to comply with the expanded definition of EHI, identifies some of the implications of the expanded definition for operations, and highlights associated challenges and opportunities.
A further exploration of the expanded definition of electronic health information (EHI) and related considerations
This resource provides guidance to Actors that must comply with the information blocking rules on operational steps needed to comply with the full definition of EHI that will be in effect in October 2022.
An infographic that visualizes the range of information systems and connections implicated by the expanded definition of EHI
The draft infographic visualizes the range of information systems and connections implicated by the expanded definition of EHI that will be in effect in October 2022. It will be useful to policymakers and stakeholders affected by these regulations.
A set of ongoing and new policy considerations
This resource outlines policy issues, identified by the IBWG, when developing materials on the operational implications of the expanded definition of EHI and the Good Practices for compliance. It also provides suggestions in areas where additional guidance from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT and the Office of the Inspector General in the Department of Health and Human Services would be helpful.
You can view the draft resources and submit feedback by August 19 at https://sequoiaproject.org/ibwg-public-feedback-on-draft-resources/.
“The Sequoia Project is honored to have worked with such a tremendous range of subject matter experts to create these several draft resources and highlight additional policy concerns to be addressed as we move to a culture of health information sharing while adhering to relevant privacy and other health law,” said Yeager.
Learn more about the IBWG and other Interoperability Matters workgroups at https://sequoiaproject.org/interoperability-matters/.
About The Sequoia Project
The Sequoia Project is a non-profit, 501c3, public-private collaborative chartered to advance implementation of secure, interoperable nationwide health information exchange. The Sequoia Project focuses on solving real-world interoperability challenges and brings together public and private stakeholders in forums, such as the Interoperability Matters cooperative, to overcome barriers. The Sequoia Project is the Recognized Coordinating Entity (RCE) for the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT’s Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement (TEFCA), for which it will develop, implement and maintain TEFCA’s Common Agreement component and operationalize the Qualified Health Information Network (QHIN) designation and monitoring process. For more information about The Sequoia Project and its initiatives, visit www.sequoiaproject.org. Follow The Sequoia Project on Twitter: @SequoiaProject.