E-health standards are essential to ensure the effective use of electronic health records (EHRs) and to successfully achieve interoperability of health information. The National Library of Medicine catalogs more than a one thousand e-health standards and code sets.
The identification of the right standards to use is complex and an ongoing activity. In Minnesota, some examples where e-health standards are essential include:
- Providing physicians and patients with medical alerts for issues such as potential adverse drug to drug interactions.
- Monitoring and comparing lab tests over time, no matter where the test was done, and enabling patients to see lab results online.
- Sending complete clinical information for a smooth patient transition from a hospital to other settings.
- Providing rapid electronic transmission of a patient’s prescriptions to a pharmacy of the patient’s choice.
- Having a complete immunization history available for providers to determine what shots are needed for a patient.
- Alerting the community during public health threats and outbreaks.
National e-Health Standards Resources
Interoperability Standards Advisory represents the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for Health Information Technology’s current thinking on best available standards and implementation specifications, and is updated annually. The purpose of the advisory is to:
- Provide the industry with a single, public list of the standards and implementation specifications that can best be used to fulfill specific clinical health information interoperability needs.
- Reflect the results of ongoing dialogue, debate, and consensus among industry stakeholders when more than one standard or implementation specification could be listed as the best available.
- Document known limitations, preconditions, and dependencies as well as known security patterns among referenced standards and implementation specifications when they are used to fulfill a specific clinical health IT interoperability need.
Standards and Interoperability (S&I) Framework empowers healthcare stakeholders to establish standards, specifications and other implementation guidance that facilitate effective healthcare information exchange. The S&I Framework creates a forum – enabled by integrated functions, processes, and tools – where healthcare stakeholders can focus on solving real-world interoperability challenges.
Minnesota e-Health Standards Resources
The Office of Health Information Technology and the Minnesota e-Health Initiative are currently updating Minnesota-specific e-health standards resources. Providers are encouraged to refer to the ONC’s Interoperability Standards Advisory.
Standards Recommended to Achieve Interoperability in Minnesota (Updated 2011) (PDF) was developed to provide practical support to those having to meet the Minnesota Interoperable EHR Mandate, as wells as to achieve the Minnesota e-Health Initiative’s goals of improving care and supporting healthier communities.
Recommendations Regarding the Use of Standards Nursing Terminology in Minnesota (PDF) was developed by the Minnesota e-Health Standards & Interoperability Workgroup. These recommendations were approved by the Commissioner of Health and will be incorporated in the next edition of the Standards Recommended to Achieve Interoperability in Minnesota (Updated 2011) (PDF).