Strategy behind ONC office's new organization, output

During the Health IT Joint Committee meeting on March 10, Steven Posnack, MS, MHS, director of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT’s (ONC) Office of Standards and Technology, offered more details about how the agency has reorganized.

The ONC Tech Lab is a single term and framing to “represent the way we organize and approach our work,” he explained. His office identified four focus areas—standards coordination, testing and utilities, pilots and innovation—which “will allow for us to create more clear and common connection efforts going forward.”

It also reflects recommendations issued to the office a year ago and efforts to integrate changes pursued in its budget. “The timing was right to put it out at the beginning of the year and transition the operational groundwork necessary for ONC to implement, including the interoperability roadmap and other near-term IT strategy items.”

Posnack also noted that the comment period for the draft Interoperability Standards Advisory is still open while they will soon kick off the task force for the draft 2017 version that is scheduled to be published this fall.

His office has a three-part strategy to invest in community-driven innovation to spur development of market-ready apps, finding ways to improve the available app discovery site that makes it easier for developers to publish their apps and providers to discover their apps.

Regarding the Interoperability Proving Ground, Posnack said, “We know every day all of us are collectively tackling a lot of interoperability challenges through prototyping, pilots and more. There’s a lot of work hidden in plain sight. This will help us showcase that work and allow for collaboration and connection in a lightweight way. An underlying theme we hope to achieve with this is cooperation without coordination. It’s an open community platform where people can share, learn and be inspired.”