Healthcare organizations got a six-month extension in October, but the compliance date for the information blocking provisions of the 21st Century Cures Act will be here sooner than many think – and the requirements around API-centric data exchange architecture will follow soon after.
The work required to build out an infrastructure toward that API ecosystem by 2022 will be substantial. So Google Cloud today launched its new Healthcare Interoperability Readiness Program to help health systems manage the transition.
“As we approach rolling implementation deadlines, healthcare organizations are wrestling with how to liberate data from siloed systems – not only to give patients more granular control of their data, but also to improve outcomes by giving doctors a more complete view into their patients’ conditions,” said Aashima Gupta, Google Cloud’s global director, healthcare strategy and solutions, and Amit Zavery, VP of its business application platform, in a blog post.
“The stakes are significant,” they said. “Yet, in speaking with our customers, the number of healthcare organizations that feel prepared to meet these new requirements is small. Why is this the case? In short, providers and payers aren’t sure where to start. And with many critical applications running on legacy IT systems that aren’t built on modern web standards, the goal can seem daunting.”
The Google Cloud Healthcare Interoperability Readiness Program – offered in collaboration with an array of consultancies – is designed to offer healthcare organizations, depending on their unique needs, a helping hand as they gear up for Cures Act compliance.
The focus is on APIs and implementation standards such as HL7’s FHIR, which are the key mechanisms for enabling more seamless health data exchange in ONC’s rules.
Components of the program include Google’s HealthAPIx Accelerator, which offers prebuilt templates and best practices from other implementations to help app developers and others create new build FHIR and API-based tools.
The Google Cloud Healthcare API, meanwhile, offers methods for “ingesting, transforming, harmonizing, and storing your data in the latest FHIR formats, as well as HL7v2 and DICOM, and serves as a secondary longitudinal data store to streamline data sharing, application development, and analytics with BigQuery,” according to the company.
And the cross-cloud Apigee API Management platform helps with security and governance for delivery and management of scalable APIs, and enables more robust API analytics for faster digital rollouts.
The Healthcare Interoperability Readiness Program also offers a toolkit with architectures, implementation guides and sandboxes to help with experimentation and innovation with FHIR and other open APIs.
The goal is to help payers, providers and life sciences organizations gain a better idea of their current interoperability maturity levels, chart a course toward more robust data exchange capabilities and ultimately help with compliance with the forthcoming federal rules.
“With COVID-19 underscoring the importance of even more data sharing and flexibility, the next few years promise to accelerate data interoperability and the adoption of open standards even further – ideally ushering in new and meaningful partnerships across the care continuum, new avenues for business growth, and new pathways for patient-centered innovation,” said Gupta and Zavery.
“Our program is built to meet customers wherever they are on their interoperability journeys, and to empower them with tailored services, technologies and strategies.”
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