The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT this week unveiled the new updates to its Interoperability Standards Advisory (ISA) Reference Edition.

The changes to ONC’s comprehensive list of standards and implementation specifications – the eighth update in as many years – are drawn from “extensive feedback from industry and federal agencies,” said the agency’s Andrew Hayden in a blog post.

The list of new specs can be found on ONC’s Recent ISA Updates page, he said, pointing to a handful of noteworthy changes for healthcare organizations to note.

Among them, ONC added Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Immunization Information System code set standards and HL7-enabled IIS implementation guidance to help providers and health agencies with management of data exchange for pandemic response. 

“To better support CDC’s COVID-19 reporting requirements, we’ve added a newer release of HL7 Laboratory Test Compendium Framework to Support the Transmission of a Laboratory’s Directory of Services to Provider’s Health IT or EHR System,” said Hayden.

ONC has also updated some interoperability specs related to labs, separating vocabulary/code set/terminology entries under Laboratory into three categories: Representing Laboratory Test Ordered, Representing Laboratory Test Performed, and Representing Laboratory Values/Results.

There are updates for e-prescribing and public health reporting too. 

For the eRx, ONC added National Council for Prescription Drug Programs’ Real-Time Prescriptions Benefit Standard Version 12 to the Content/Structure section, which “allows pharmacy benefit Payers to communicate formulary and benefit information to prescriber systems,” said Hayden.

For public health, a new HL7 lab results interface implementation spec was added to ONC’s Newborn Screening Results and Birth Defect Reporting to Public Health Agencies, “thereby providing an additional standard for jurisdictions who are doing electronic order and result exchanges,” he said.

“A FHIR-enabled US Laboratory Report emerging standard was added to Electronic Transmission of Reportable Laboratory Results to Public Health Agencies, raising awareness of the potential use of FHIR standard for public health reporting.”

Hayden also pointed to an array of new changes supporting management of social determinants of health projects and expanded health equity efforts, including added support for HL7’s Gender Harmony Project. (Read Healthcare IT News‘ coverage of that initiative here.)

“ONC will be keenly following the project, especially as it pertains to changes desired by the industry in future versions of United States Core Data for Interoperability.

Twitter: @MikeMiliardHITN
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