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CHIME Statement on Finalization of Meaningful Use ‘Modifications’ Rule

From Russell P. Branzell, FCHIME, CHCIO, President and CEO

This afternoon the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) finalized a regulation granting providers additional flexibility in meeting Meaningful Use (MU) requirements in 2014. However, the final rule lacked a key provision that would ensure continued EHR adoption and MU participation

CHIME is deeply disappointed in the decision made by CMS and ONC to require 365-days of EHR reporting in 2015. This single provision has severely muted the positive impacts of this final rule. Further, it has all but ensured that industry struggles will continue well beyond 2014.

Roughly 50% of EHs and CAHs were scheduled to meet Stage 2 requirements this year and nearly 85% of EHs and CAHs will be required to meet Stage 2 requirements in 2015. Most hospitals who take advantage of new pathways made possible through this final rule will not be in a position to meet Stage 2 requirements beginning October 1, 2014. This means that penalties avoided in 2014 will come in 2015, and millions of dollars will be lost due to misguided government timelines.

Nearly every stakeholder group echoed recommendations made by CHIME to give providers the option of reporting any three-month quarter EHR reporting period in 2015. This sensible recommendation, if taken, would have assuaged industry concerns over the pace and trajectory of rulemaking; it would have pushed providers to meet a higher bar, without pushing them off the cliff; and it would have ensured the long-term vitality of the program itself. Now, the very future of Meaningful Use is in question.

August 29, 2014 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 14 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus.

New CMS rule allows flexibility in certified EHR technology for 2014

Rule will help more providers use electronic health record technology

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published a final rule today that allows health care providers more flexibility in how they use certified electronic health record (EHR) technology (CEHRT) to meet meaningful use for an EHR Incentive Program reporting period for 2014. By providing this flexibility, more providers will be able to participate and meet important meaningful use objectives like drug interaction and drug allergy checks, providing clinical summaries to patients, electronic prescribing, reporting on key public health data and reporting on quality measures.

“We listened to stakeholder feedback and provided CEHRT flexibility for 2014 to help ensure providers can continue to participate in the EHR Incentive Programs forward,” said Marilyn Tavenner, CMS administrator. “We were excited to see that there is overwhelming support for this change.”

Based on public comments and feedback from stakeholders, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) identified ways to help eligible professionals, eligible hospitals, and critical access hospitals (CAHs) implement and meaningfully use Certified EHR Technology. Specifically, eligible providers can use the 2011 Edition CEHRT or a combination of 2011 and 2014 Edition CEHRT for an EHR reporting period in 2014 for the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs; All eligible professionals, eligible hospitals, and CAHs are required to use the 2014 Edition CEHRT in 2015.

These updates to the EHR Incentive Programs support HHS’ commitment to implementing an effective health information technology infrastructure that elevates patient-centered care, improves health outcomes, and supports the providers that care for patients.

The rule also finalizes the extension of Stage 2 through 2016 for certain providers and announces the Stage 3 timeline, which will begin in 2017 for providers who first became meaningful EHR users in 2011 or 2012.

An updated meaningful use timeline and a chart with 2011 and 2014 CEHRT Edition options are available at http://cms.gov/Newsroom/MediaReleaseDatabase/Press-releases/2014-Press-releases-items/2014-08-29.html.

For more information about the EHR Incentive Programs, please visithttp://www.cms.gov/EHRIncentivePrograms. For more information about CEHRT, please visit http://www.healthit.gov/certification.

I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 14 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus.

CMS Rule to Change EHR Certification Requirement and Meaningful Use Stage 2 Schedule

Rule also proposes to extend Stage 2 of the EHR Incentive Programs through 2016

Today, HHS published a new proposed rule that would provide eligible professionals, eligible hospitals, and critical access hospitals more flexibility in how they use certified electronic health record (EHR) technology (CEHRT) to meet meaningful use. The proposed rule, from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), would let providers use the 2011 Edition CEHRT or a combination of 2011 and 2014 Edition CEHRT for the EHR reporting period in 2014 for the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs.

Beginning in 2015, all eligible hospitals and professionals would still be required to report using 2014 Edition CEHRT. Since the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs began in 2011, more than 370,000 hospitals and professionals nationwide have received an incentive payment.

“We have seen tremendous participation in the EHR Incentive Programs since they began,” said CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner. “By extending Stage 2, we are being receptive to stakeholder feedback to ensure providers can continue to meet meaningful use and keep momentum moving forward.”

The proposed rule also includes a provision that would formalize CMS and ONC’s previously stated intention to extend Stage 2 through 2016 and begin Stage 3 in 2017. These proposed changes would address concerns raised by stakeholders and will encourage the continued adoption of Certified EHR Technology.

“Increasing the adoption of EHRs is key to improving the nation’s health care system and the steps we are taking today will give new options to those who, through no fault of their own, have been unable to get the new 2014 Edition technology, including those at high risk, such as smaller providers and rural hospitals,” said Karen DeSalvo, M.D., M.P.H, M.Sc., national coordinator for health information technology.

Proposed changes to meaningful use timeline

New Meaningful Use and EHR Certification Timelines - Meaningful Use Stage 2 Delay

For more information about the EHR Incentive Programs, please visit http://www.cms.gov/EHRIncentivePrograms. For more information about CEHRT, please visit http://www.healthit.gov.

May 20, 2014 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 14 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus.

Accreditor for ONC Health IT Certification Program approved for second term

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) has approved the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) for a second three-year term as the ONC-Approved Accreditor (ONC-AA) for the ONC Health Information Technology Certification Program.

ONC certifies electronic health record (EHR) technology products to ensure they meet the standards to improve health care quality, safety, and efficiency through the promotion of health information technology and electronic health information exchange.

EHR products that have been successfully tested by a National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program Accredited Testing Laboratory are certified under this program. The ONC-AA accredits the certification bodies that seek to serve as ONC-Authorized Certification Bodies (ONC-ACBs) under this program and ensures that they continue to meet requirements necessary to maintain accreditation.

ANSI was approved as the ONC-AA after a competitive process that included an evaluation against a specific set of requirements. The requirements include conformance to ISO/IEC 17011 (General requirements for accreditation bodies accrediting conformity assessment bodies), and sexperience evaluating conformance of certification bodies to ISO Guide 65 (General requirements for bodies operating product certification systems).

ONC’s goal is to give assurance to EHR developers, users, and the general public that certified products meet and maintain the functionalities required for certification.

May 14, 2014 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 14 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus.

Independent Health IT Vets Create Team FloriDUH to #FillTheVoid Against Big Health at Health Datapalooza

Still, Kypreos, Bishop team up to compete against established industry heavyweights at the 2014 Code-A-Thon event in Washington, DC

Jacksonville, Fla. (May 7, 2014) – In a true-life David vs. Goliath battle, Team FloriDUH, a group of three independent contributors from across the country, has been selected by the Health Data Consortium, the Office of the National Coordinator, and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services to compete against a number of leading healthcare information technology industry giants at the 2014 Health Datapalooza finals on June 1-3, 2014 in Washington, DC. Ten finalists were chosen out of a field of 56 applicants. Teams are vying for $35,000 in prizes, awarded to the most compelling data visualization application that makes use of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Provider Utilization and Payment data set, released on April 9, 2014. Team FloriDUH was created the day the competition was announced and consists of three virtual friends, united by a shared passion for data science and analytics.

Due to the nature of the contest, Team FloriDUH cannot divulge specific information regarding its application, only that it is focused in part on what they call The Void. Finalists will be judged on consumer usability, visual appeal, and the application’s use of the required CMS data set. To meet these criteria, Team FloriDUH has created a cast of characters who will tell the story of The Void on stage at Health Datapalooza, essentially bringing their data visualization to life.

In order to facilitate future development on the open source data visualization platform that Team FloriDUH is building for Health Datapalooza, the team has formed a non-profit corporation, FloriDATA Foundation, Inc., and is presently filing for 501(c) 3 status. The Foundation’s goal is to provide open source tools, including APIs and REST service integration capabilities, to allow other entities or individuals to use the analytics application that Team FloriDUH builds, and to expand the analytics capabilities to incorporate additional data sets beyond the Provider Utilization and Payment data.

The FloriDATA Foundation is set to launch a #FillTheVoid Crowdfunding campaign on May 9 through the healthcare-industry funding site, Medstartr. Their goal is to raise $10,000 over 30 days. The funds will then be used to acquire more data, optimize the hosting platform used for the application, develop additional application components, and cover the team’s travel costs to the Health Datapalooza event.

Team FloriDUH consists of the following experts:

  •  Team founder and veteran health hack-a-thon participant, Lauren Still of San Francisco, a Navy brat whose formative years were spent in Pensacola, FL. Lauren is currently the Policy and Regulations Advisor for cloud-based Vendor Neutral Archive (VNA), DICOMGrid.
  •  Nick Kypreos of Seattle, team data scientist and particle physicist who previously worked at CERN and Fermilab. He is currently an independent consultant. Nick and Lauren’s friendship dates back to their high school years in Pensacola.
  •  Team leader and taskmaster, Mandi Bishop of Jacksonville, FL. Mandi is a partner in consulting firm Adaptive Project Solutions, Inc., and Chief Data Strategist for Surgical Momentum, LLC. She met Nick and Lauren via social networking, primarily interacting through Twitter about their shared interests.

The name FloriDUH represents the teammates’ affinity for their home state, and the state’s (and its inhabitants’) tragi-comic reputation for bungling various government programs, such as elections and Medicare claims management. In addition, the name offers a humorous approach to the monumental healthcare system transformation task at hand.

 

For updates, follow Team FloriDUH, on Twitter @teamfloriduh.

For more information, visit teamfloriduh.com

For more information on Health Datapalooza visit www.healthdatapalooza.org

For information on the Health Data Consortium, visit www.healthdataconsortium.org

For information on Medstartr, visit www.medstartr.com and on Twitter @Medstartr

Tweet This:

#Healthcare #data #analytics for a cause: @TeamFloriDUH selected for #HDPalooza #CMS #dataviz finals. teamfloriduh.com #FillTheVoid

May 7, 2014 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 14 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus.

HIMSS Statement on Dr. Karen DeSalvo’s Appointment as National Coordinator for Health IT

Washington, DC (December 19, 2013) – HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has made an excellent selection in appointing Karen DeSalvo, MD, MPH, MSc  as the new National Coordinator for Health IT, replacing Farzad Mostashari, MD, ScM, who left the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) in early October 2013. Dr. DeSalvo, who currently serves as the Health Commissioner for the City of New Orleans and Senior Health Policy Advisor to Mayor Mitch Landrieu, will join ONC on January 13, 2014.

HIMSS notes Dr. DeSalvo’s long history of leadership in bringing the benefits of health IT to Louisiana. She served as President of the Louisiana Health Care Quality Forum, the Louisiana lead for the state’s health information exchange and regional extension center grants, and was a member of the Steering Committee for the Crescent City Beacon Community grant.  She also advocated for expanded use of health IT by New Orleans’ primary care providers, and ensured that the city’s newest public hospital will utilize a fully-integrated health IT network.

Dr. DeSalvo, who spoke at HIMSS13 in New Orleans earlier this year, has a deep understanding of the value of informatics, as well as of the challenges and promise of interoperability. That insight will be essential as she transitions to lead ONC’s efforts to assist U.S. clinicians and healthcare organizations as they move into Stage 2 of Meaningful Use.

HIMSS looks forward to collaborating with Dr. DeSalvo and the entire ONC team, as we work to underscore the value of health IT as a foundational resource in achieving healthcare transformation.

 

About HIMSS

HIMSS is a global, cause-based, not-for-profit organization focused on better health through information technology (IT). HIMSS leads efforts to optimize health engagements and care outcomes using information technology. HIMSS is a part of HIMSS WorldWide, a cause-based, global enterprise producing health IT thought leadership, education, events, market research and media services around the world. Founded in 1961, HIMSS WorldWide encompasses more than 52,000 individuals, of which more than two-thirds work in healthcare provider, governmental and not-for-profit organizations across the globe, plus over 600 corporations and 250 not-for-profit partner organizations, that share this cause.  HIMSS WorldWide, headquartered in Chicago, serves the global health IT community with additional offices in the United States, Europe, and Asia.

December 19, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 14 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus.

CHIME Applauds Federal Action to Consistently and Accurately Match Patients with their Data

Foundational work will improve interoperability, save lives according to healthcare CIOs

ANN ARBOR, MI, September 11, 2013 – The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) applauds the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) as it undertakes an effort to identify challenges and opportunities associated with patient data-matching.  This effort will lead directly to saved lives, improved population health and lower costs, says the nation’s healthcare CIOs.

“Patient data-matching is a foundational component to the exchange of electronic health information – which, in turn, is a critical component for improved care coordination and quality improvement,” said CHIME President and CEO Russell P. Branzell.  “Despite years of development, no clear strategy has emerged to accurately and consistently match patient data.  As we advance interoperability and health information exchange, we are delighted to see ONC take action to ensure the right data is matched with the right patient.  This is a necessary, concrete step to bolster patient safety.”

As health information moves from setting to setting and organization to organization, matching patient data accurately becomes more complex and the potential for misidentification increases.  The federal government has mandated such health information exchange through the EHR Incentive Program, but has not provided such guidance on how organizations ought to approach patient data-matching.

Beginning this fall, ONC will begin an environmental scan of activities looking to identify key concerns associated with mismatches by understanding technology applications and process workflows.  They will be looking at past literature on patient data-matching, Health IT Policy Committee recommendations, and interviewing stakeholders currently engaged with patient data-matching, including:

  • ·         health systems/providers;
  • ·         health information organizations;
  • ·         EHR developers; and
  • ·         HIE solution vendors.

These efforts complement activities currently underway through CHIME StateNet.  Convened in May, StateNet’s Patient Data-Matching Workgroup has constructed a charter document to “take a leadership role in establishing a patient matching policy/strategy that is adopted by federal officials, state policymakers and other relevant audiences, such as the vendor community.”  The workgroup will identify technologies, implementation practices and data integrity mechanisms (e.g. data entry, versioning, etc.) that will ensure the most efficient, scalable and robust mitigation of patient data-matching errors.

“False negative and false positive error rates are unacceptably high, despite new generations of algorithms and biometric technologies,” said Patient Data-Matching Workgroup Chair Ralph Johnson, CIO at Franklin Community Health Network in Farmington, Maine.  “Unintended injury or illness attributable to patient data-matching error is a considerable, and growing, problem in this era of health information exchange.  National leadership and consistent standards in this area will set a floor for safe patient matching that will, in turn, help focus industry activity towards improved patient data-matching.”

Using the StateNet platform, volunteers consisting of individuals with expertise in developing and implementing consensus standards will agree on a roadmap detailing how organizations could adopt recognized standards and guidelines that would be deemed acceptable for assuring accurate patient data-matching.

“Through the StateNet network, CIOs and other health IT stakeholders have a unique opportunity to provide insight and much needed guidance to policymakers on best-practices and strategies to accurately match patient-data in an era of increasing health information exchange,” said Branzell.  “We look forward to results from the work ONC is planning and we hope the synergies of their work and ours can solve the dangerous and costly problem of accurately matching patients with their health data.”

About CHIME
The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) is an executive organization dedicated to serving chief information officers and other senior healthcare IT leaders. With more than 1,400 CIO members and over 95 healthcare IT vendors and professional services firms, CHIME provides a highly interactive, trusted environment enabling senior professional and industry leaders to collaborate; exchange best practices; address professional development needs; and advocate the effective use of information management to improve the health and healthcare in the communities they serve. For more information, please visit www.cio-chime.org.

September 11, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 14 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus.

HIMSS Statement on Dr. Farzad Mostashari Stepping Down as National Coordinator for Health IT

The following is a statement from Carla Smith, Executive Vice President at HIMSS.

Ann Arbor, MI (August 6, 2013) – We learned today that Dr. Farzad Mostashari, National Coordinator for Health IT, will step down from public service in the Fall. HIMSS has been privileged to work with Dr. Mostashari as he passionately led the government’s collaborations with the healthcare community, ensuring that health IT is truly the foundation of healthcare transformation.

Dr. Mostashari has long been committed to the value of health IT. At the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, he set a benchmark for how EHRs should be leveraged for public health and population health management, leading to the Department’s Public Health Information Project being awarded the prestigious HIMSS Davies Public Health Award of Excellence in 2011. Dr. Mostashari himself was presented with the 2011 HIMSS Federal Leadership Award during National Health IT Week, and, thanks to his enthusiastic vision of our nation’s future health system, Dr. Mostashari routinely drew large audiences to his speeches at HIMSS events.

HIMSS appreciates Dr. Mostashari’s remarkable achievements as National Coordinator for Health IT and beyond. Thanks to his energetic leadership, patient care is improving as providers and hospitals are implementing health IT, efficient information exchange is leading to better care coordination, and consumers are engaging as partners in their own health. We wish Farzad success as he enters the next phase of his career, and look forward to working with ONC to continue his vision.

About HIMSS

HIMSS is a cause-based, not-for-profit organization focused on better health through information technology (IT). HIMSS leads global efforts to optimize health engagements and care outcomes using information technology. HIMSS is a part of HIMSS WorldWide, a cause-based, global enterprise producing health IT thought leadership, education, events, market research and media services around the world. Founded in 1961, HIMSS WorldWide encompasses more than 52,000 individuals, of which more than two-thirds work in healthcare provider, governmental and not-for-profit organizations across the globe, plus over 600 corporations and 250 not-for-profit partner organizations, that share this cause. HIMSS WorldWide, headquartered in Chicago, serves the global health IT community with additional offices in the United States, Europe, and Asia. For more information, please visit www.himss.org.

August 6, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 14 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus.

CHIME Comments on Mostashari’s Departure

“Through Dr. Farzad Mostashari’s leadership, we saw the Office of the National Coordinator lead our nation’s providers through the first gates of measured, meaningful use of electronic health records, and address in reality those initial standards that make our health information portable across the U.S. healthcare system.

“Any CIO will tell you that implementing technology in the face of cultural resistance and process redesign is a monumental challenge.  ONC’s task was to help guide such implementations in over 5,000 hospital settings and with nearly 400,000 physicians and clinicians.  Today’s health delivery system is fundamentally different than it was five years ago when HITECH was passed, but it’s not because Congress simply passed a law.  It’s because ONC and CMS, in partnership with the private sector, designed an implementation strategy that tried to align various stakeholders and make the spirit of HITECH a reality.

“CHIME appreciates the partnership forged under Dr. Mostashari’s tenure and his commitment in furthering the development of widespread health IT adoption. We wish him continued success in his future endeavors.”

Russell P. Branzell
President & CEO
CHIME

George T. Hickman
CHIME Board Chair
Executive VP & CIO
Albany Medical Center

I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 14 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus.

HEALTH TECH HATCH SERVES AS IDEA CROWDSOURCER AND USER TESTING PLATFORM FOR U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES “BLUE BUTTON PLUS” MOBILE APP CHALLENGE

Company’s testing capability allows developers to collaborate with end users

to produce consumer-facing applications that make patient information useful

Iowa City, Iowa (June 6, 2013) – Health Tech Hatch (Hatch), a resource for entrepreneurs who create innovative health and wellness products and companies, today announced it will operate as the user testing platform for the Blue Button Patient Co-Design Challenge, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology’s (ONC) newest challenge effort. The Challenge seeks to amplify the voices of patients with stories to tell and problems to solve through improved access to their health data.  The Challenge will also uniquely engage the patient community to teach what patients most want to do with their clinical data by crowdsourcing application ideas and incorporating patients in product design. Crowdsourcing and crowdvoting of ideas will take place from June 3 through June 11 at http://ideas.healthtechhatch.com/.

Blue Button Plus represents the technical standards and policy levers that help patients make use of their clinical and financial data in technology such as personal health records and health apps. All patients whose providers use Meaningful Use Stage 2 certified technology have the ability to view, download, and securely transmit their clinical data from their provider’s Electronic Health Record into another product or holding place of their choice. This is an enormous opportunity for patient-facing, data receiver applications that previously struggled to collect complete and accurate clinical data without manual patient entry.

Intended to increase the number of priority patient-facing applications able to receive clinical data via Blue Button Plus, the Challenge allows site visitors to vote for the highest priority problems and types of products they think will help them best take care of themselves and their families. The top three ideas/problems will become the target products for this Challenge.

“Supporting innovations that will actually be used by people to improve health is a shared mission among Hatch and HHS/ONC, and is the inspiration behind Hatch’s testing platform,” says Patricia Salber, CEO of Health Tech Hatch. “What is so great about this project is the way real patient engagement is built in, starting with crowdsourcing the ideas for the Challenge to having the developers post their concepts on Health Tech Hatch so that patients can iteratively interact with the developers in a codesign process, and vote. It’s the first time such an extensive involvement of patients in the development of apps/tools has taken place.”

Over the summer, developers from across the country will build patient-prioritized tools using the Blue Button Plus technical guidelines, which ensure that patients may move their own health data from a provider’s electronic health record or a patient’s own personal health record into these new products in a secure and structured way.  Developers will receive codesign support from real patients through the Health Tech Hatch platform. Testers will be compensated for their time. If you are interested in applying to be a tester, send an email to info@healthtechhatch.com.

In August, participants will vote again for the winner. Prizes will also be awarded for the best open source developer tools that make it easier for future applications to become Blue Button Plus enabled. Total prize money is $50,000.

“We want the Blue Button Co-Design Challenge to be a significant step forward in the creation and adoption of Blue Button Plus-enabled tools and applications, said Adam Wong, Management and Program Analyst, ONC. “Utilizing the knowledge and experience we’ve gained over the past two years from the many challenges we’ve run, we expect this challenge to result in a slew of new patient applications and developer tools that will bring Blue Button to a wide range of new users. And with the ideation crowd-sourcing and public voting elements we have incorporated the opinions of patients and consumers in an exciting new way.”

Hatch’s platform supports health care innovators by providing the infrastructure for iterative concept feedback from relevant users (consumers and providers) early in design, and hosts challenges that generate solutions for government agencies, foundations, academic institutions and other organizations. An entrepreneur may also crowdfund on the Hatch platform and raise matching funds from sponsor organizations.

The Blue Button Co-Design Challenge builds upon previous ONC activities to support consumer health and patient access to their data. These include Challenges such as Blue Button for All Americans, the Blue Button Mash Up Challenge, and the Health Design Challenge.

For additional information, please visit http://challenge.gov/ONC/557-blue-button-co-design-challenge.”

About Health Tech Hatch

Health Tech Hatch (“Hatch”) is a platform supporting healthcare innovation via early concept feedback, problem-solving challenges, and crowdfunding. Learn more at http://healthtechhatch.com/.

June 12, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 14 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus.