Wednesday, December 15, 2010

ONC Requests Comments

The Office of the National Coordinator for HIT is requesting feedback on the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) new report “Realizing the Full Potential of Health Information Technology to Improve Healthcare for Americans: The Path Forward.”

PCAST is an advisory group administered by OSTP with leading scientists and engineers directly advising the President and the Executive Office of the President. The Office of the National Coordinator is looking for specific public comments on the report’s vision and recommendations.

ONC seeks comments on these questions, but all comments on the PCAST report are welcome:

• What standards, implementation specifications, certification criteria, and certification process for EHR technology and other HIT is required? On this topic, should ONC establish minimal standards for the metadata associated with tagged data elements? Should ONC facilitate the rapid mapping of existing semantic taxonomies into tagged data elements? Should certification of EHR technology and other HIT focus on interoperability?

• What processes and approaches would facilitate rapid development for certification criteria and processes?

• Given current IT architectures and enterprises, what challenges will the industry face with respect to transitioning to the approach discussed in the PCAST report? Given current provider workflows, what are some challenges to populating the metadata that may be necessary to implement the approach discussed in the report? Alternatively, what are proposed solutions, or best practices from other industries that could be leveraged to expedite these transitions?

• What technological developments and policy actions are required to assure the privacy and security of health data in a national infrastructure for HIT that embodies the PCAST vision?

• How might a system of Data Element Access Services (DEAS) be established and what role should the federal government assume in the oversight and/or governance of such a system

• How might ONC best integrate the changes envisioned by the report into its work in preparation for Stage 2 of “Meaningful use”?

• What are the implications of the report on HIT program and activities specifically on HIEs and on Federal agency actions?

• Are there lessons to be learned regarding metadata tagging in other industries?

• Are there lessons learned from any initiatives to be able to establish information sharing languages?

The comments must be received by 5 pm on January 17, 2011 and send to For more details, go to the December 10th Federal Register at