The secure, appropriate, and efficient sharing of electronic health information is the foundation of an interoperable learning health system—one that uses information and technology to deliver better care, spend health dollars more wisely, and advance the health of everyone.
Today we delivered a new Report to Congress on Health Information Blocking that examines allegations that some health care providers and health IT developers are engaging in “information blocking”—a practice that frustrates this national information sharing goal.
Health information blocking occurs when persons or entities knowingly and unreasonably interfere with the exchange or use of electronic health information. Our report examines the known extent of information blocking, provides criteria for identifying and distinguishing it from other barriers to interoperability, and describes steps the federal government and the private sector can take to deter this conduct.
This report is important and comes at a crucial time in the evolution of our nation’s health IT infrastructure. We recently released the Federal Health IT Strategic Plan 2015 – 2020 and the Draft Shared Nationwide Interoperability Roadmap. These documents describe challenges to achieving an interoperable learning health system and chart a course towards unlocking electronic health information so that it flows where and when it matters most for individual consumers, health care providers, and the public health community.