ONC debuts ONC Tech Lab to focus its standards & technology work

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The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) introduced the ONC Tech Lab which “represents the way in which we will organize and approach the type of work we do,” according to a blog post written by Steven Posnack, MS, MHS, director of ONC’s Office of Standards and Technology.

Citing efforts to advance interoperability, Posnack said the lab will help ensure that the agency’s work will be connected and aligned to those efforts.

“In concert with the ONC Health IT Certification Program, we believe this principled approach will provide internal and external stakeholders with common connection points to ONC’s standards and technology efforts,” he wrote. “This transition lays the operational groundwork within ONC necessary to implement the Interoperability Roadmap and ties directly to our near-term health IT strategy and, ultimately, the long-term vision included in the Federal Health IT Strategic Plan.”

ONC plans to use the ONC Tech Lab’s organizing structure to help focus on contributions to improve existing standards and build consensus around those that best serve specific interoperability needs.

ONC will work directly with standards development organizations through their processes, partnering with stakeholders industry-wide to shorten feedback loops and pilot testing to gain evidence about what can scale. “In the end, we want to see standards in use that have been rigorously tested and consistently implemented.”

The ONC Tech Lab will be organized around and focus on the following four areas: standards coordination; texting and utilities; pilots; and innovation.

ONC will publish four more blog posts detailing the work lined up in each of these focus areas.