ONC – US Looks For Comments On Version 5 of Draft USCDI

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In a recent development that has taken place, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT has asked for feedback on its draft United States Core Data for Interoperability, Version 5. Apparently, it is also looking for instances of code sets that are used by health IT developers as well as implementers in order to communicate data, said the agency.

It is well to be noted that the ONC, which happens to be accepting comments until April 15 this year, is targeting the final USCDI v5 release for July 2024.

WHY IT MAKES THE DIFFERENCE

The Draft USCDI v5 happens to be focused on the addition of standardized health data classes as well as constituent data elements that go on to enhance patient care and, at the same time, facilitate patient access.

As per the ONC Standards Bulletin on January 18, the agency went on to receive over 60 submissions, thereby recommending fresh data elements and also more than 330 comments on previously submitted data aspects that it considered within the development of the draft dataset.

ONC assessed the submissions in the fourth quarter of last year and is proposing two data classes as well as 13 data elements in the update.

It is worth noting that the ONC is also looking for suggestions so as to improve the data classes or elements within Draft USCDI v5, like the data class and element definitions, usage notes along with examples, as well as instances of code sets that happen to be used by health IT developers.

In the draft, ONC has gone on to ask the stakeholders for feedback, such as: should the other data elements, already referred to as Level 2 on the USCDI web pages, be added to USCDI v5 instead of, or as well as those in Draft USCDI v5? And if so, then why?”

ONC has also gone on to ask about barriers when it comes to the development, execution, or usage of any of these data elements and if they want a change in definition or even eradication from the Draft USCDI v5.

It is worth noting that the agency noted that it will work along with the Health Information Technology Advisory Committee, or HITAC, in order to garner feedback when it comes to the draft.

THE BIGGER TREND

ONC most recently went on to publish USCDI v4 in July 2023, getting almost 600 comments, and that too many from HITAC.

The agency happened to raise the baseline for its HIT certification program by way of having USCDI v3 in the just finalized Health Data, Technology, and Interoperability: Algorithm Transparency, Certification Program Updates, along with Information Sharing Final Rule, or HTI-1.

HTI-1 goes on to establish that USCDI v3 will be the only USCDI version that will be needed within the Certification Program as of January 1, 2026. Version 3 has in it sex, sexual orientation, as well as gender identity, in addition to other data elements.

With the advent of new certification rules, ONC has also gone on to adopt:

  • HL7 FHIR US Core 6.1.0, which goes on to sync with USCDI v3 data elements for FHIR APIs.
  • Reusable Technologies App Launch Implementation Guide and Substitutable Medical Applications.
  • Updated terminology benchmarks within the Systematized Nomenclature of Medicine Clinical Terms, U.S. Edition.

In the rule summary, ONC opined that the final rule revises many program certification criteria, such as the one that’s related to decision support, electronic case reporting, and standards-based- APIs, and also raises the baseline version when it comes to USCDI from Version 1 to Version 3.

ON RECORD

The agency officials in the draft say that ONC continues to work along with public and federal agencies in order to identify areas where more work happens to be required in order to inform future versions of USCDI. They add that the ONC acknowledges that there are certain specific but also important use cases that may need consistency as well as alignment on datasets that go much beyond USCDI.