AAFP Applauds Roadmap for Health Information Technology Interoperability

Friday, Jan. 30, 2015

Statement attributable to:
Robert Wergin, MD
American Academy of Family Physicians

“The issue of interoperability between electronic health records represents one of the most complex challenges facing the health care community as we pursue patient-centered health care reform. The ability to share and utilize information between two or more information systems is critical in today’s increasingly interconnected health care environment, yet significant challenges have impeded information exchange across the spectrum of care. In order to achieve better care, smarter spending and healthier people, patients and providers must be able to securely access their patients’ health care information when and where needed.

“The American Academy of Family Physicians applauds the proposed interoperability roadmap from the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology. We have expressed our concern with the lack of interoperability and are pleased that the ONC has identified critical actions and outlined a timeline for implementation.

“The AAFP understands that removing roadblocks and eliminating isolated data silos are essential steps toward improving care quality, safety and efficiency. That’s why we support ongoing efforts aimed at creating and implementing technical standards for the secure, ubiquitous transfer of health data.

“The ONC roadmap establishes clear, distinct and up-front goals and a timetable for accomplishing this important exchange of information. We look forward to carefully reviewing and providing input during the public comment period.”

Editor's Note: To arrange an interview with Dr. Wergin, contact Megan Moriarty, (800) 274-2237, Ext. 5223, or mmoriarty@aafp.org.

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Founded in 1947, the AAFP represents 129,000 physicians and medical students nationwide. It is the only medical society devoted solely to primary care.

Family physicians conduct approximately one in five office visits -- that’s 192 million visits annually or 48 percent more than the next most visited medical specialty. Today, family physicians provide more care for America’s underserved and rural populations than any other medical specialty. Family medicine’s cornerstone is an ongoing, personal patient-physician relationship focused on integrated care.

To learn more about the specialty of family medicine, the AAFP's positions on issues and clinical care, and for downloadable multi-media highlighting family medicine, visit
www.aafp.org/media. For information about health care, health conditions and wellness, please visit the AAFP’s award-winning consumer website, www.familydoctor.org(www.familydoctor.org).