The main purpose of the ONC interoperability rule is to support the seamless exchange and transfer of electronic health information (EHI). The enhanced exchange of information has benefits for both patients and providers.

The ONC Cures Act

The 21st Century Cures Act was passed by the American congress to propel the easy electronic access, exchange, and leveraging of health data for the betterment of the healthcare sector. In the year 2020, The ONC Cures Act Final Rule was issued. According to the Final Rule, there is an implementation of the interoperability requirements as stated in the Cures Acts to improve patient control over health information through the use of APIs. Once patients can view their health information they feel empowered in their healthcare journey and also boost patient engagement levels.

A standard-based application programming interface allows patients to easily use their smartphones, tablets, and other devices to have quick and smooth access to their personal health information through certified EHR systems.

Benefits of the ONC’s Cures Act Final Rule

The ONC’s Cures Act Final Rule helps to achieve the following for healthcare organizations, providers, and patients.

  • Making patient-data requests cost-effective and easy.
  • Clinicians and health systems benefit from a choice of apps.
  • Implementation.
  • Enhancing patient safety.

Through modern technology solutions, providers and hospitals can offer their patients to have easy access to their information whenever they want. The patient data requests are made effectively and are completely automated. Patients can choose from the app they prefer to view their health information.

Healthcare organizations can take advantage of the competitive app market. The Final Rule ensures open APIs which support protected access to data from different applications.

The ONC’s Cures Act Final Rule reassures patient safety concerns through transparency within the health IT realm. It also safeguards the intellectual property rights of Electronic Medical Records (EMR) Software vendors and other health IT vendors that have invested in designing intuitive interfaces and workflows.

HIPAA and the ONC Interoperability Rule

Although HIPAA allows access to health data, the interoperability rule will need such data exchange capabilities. Such as, if a healthcare provider wants to access patient records, the HIPAA states that the healthcare organization may offer the access. In contrast, under the ONC Interoperability Rule, such data sharing should be permitted otherwise the provider will be responsible for information blocking.

Interoperability for enhanced patient care

The smooth exchange of patient data is important as it supports care coordination as health information systems can work together. Interoperability is the basis to promote efficient patient care and informed decision-making for positive health outcomes.