Oncology Group Urges Congress To Bolster EHR Interoperability

The American Society for Clinical Oncology released a position statement urging Congress to pass legislation that would strengthen interoperability of electronic health records, Modern Healthcare reports (Muchmore, Modern Healthcare, 9/15).

The statement was released during a Capitol Hill briefing on big data.

Statement Details

In the statement, ASCO noted that to achieve a fully interoperable health IT system "all health IT initiatives that utilize big data must have the ability to electronically share clinical information between practitioners" (ASCO release, 9/15).

Clifford Hudis, chair-elect of ASCO's government relations committee, noted that cancer researchers often face barriers to sharing data from adult clinical trials using disparate systems, including information blocking. 

While the ASCO praised the House's approval of the 21st Century Cures Act (HR 6) -- which requires HHS to develop certification requirements for data sharing -- it called for additional measures to improve health data exchange (Modern Healthcare, 9/15).

Specifically, ASCO asked Congress to:

  • Quickly enact legislation that provides a clear path to achieving widespread interoperability and eliminates unjustified information blocking;
  • Ensure that costs of achieving interoperability of EHRs do not fall on cancer patients, oncologists and oncology providers; and
  • Work with stakeholders to help health care providers make informed decisions when purchasing and using health IT systems (ASCO release, 9/15).

ASCO Details Work on New Platform

During the Capitol Hill briefing, ASCO also highlighted its progress on creating CancerLinQ, a health IT platform that aims to give providers access to real-time data. The system is currently used at 15 practices throughout the U.S. (Modern Healthcare, 9/15).

Among other things, the platform seeks to leverage EHRs to provide a visual display of a patient's treatment, side effects and outcomes (ASCO release, 9/15).

Source: iHealthBeat, Wednesday, September 16, 2015

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