Friday, September 30, 2011

CHIME: Slow Down on Tying Metadata to Meaningful Use

The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives is urging federal officials to slow down on initiatives to tie use of metadata to electronic health records meaningful use measures.

The Office of National Coordinator for Health Information Technology is moving on a fast track to quickly incorporate use of metadata in EHRs to facilitate health information exchange and give patients more control over the sharing of their data, following recommendations in late 2010 from the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.

ONC, for instance, recently announced it will launch two pilot projects covering the use of metadata to support data exchange, and wants some degree of metadata use in Stage 2 meaningful use measures. But CHIME, which represents health care CIOs and other information technology leaders, says the initiatives aren't ready for prime time.

"Despite the impressive amount of resources put forth on this endeavor, by ONC and others, CHIME simply cannot support the inclusion of metadata standards in the next notice of proposed rulemaking to support meaningful use Stage 2," according to a comment letter to ONC. "We do not believe enough progress has been made, or evidence gathered, to support the technologies and strategies needed to include metadata standards as part of meaningful use Stage 2. We do not believe that the meaningful use regulatory schema is the appropriate venue to mandate unproven standards or incomplete protocols."

CHIME recommends ONC move forward with metadata initiatives "to fully vet the range of possible standards and assemble the needed implementation processes." The comment letter is available here.

Joseph Goedert
HDM Breaking News, September 23, 2011

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