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ONC, HRSA Partner on Uniform Data System Interoperability Initiative

ONC and HRSA are working on establishing a USCDI+ dataset to advance the interoperability of HRSA’s Uniform Data System (UDS) and improve access to health data.

ONC and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) have partnered on a new USCDI+ initiative to align HRSA’s Uniform Data System (UDS) with interoperability standards, according to a HealthITBuzz blog post.

ONC recently launched the USCDI+ initiative to support the establishment of program-specific datasets that will operate as extensions to the existing United States Core Data for Interoperability (USCDI).

ONC and HRSA are working to align the UDS with interoperability standards and transition to patient-level reporting requirements with USCDI.

“We are also establishing a strategic direction aligned with ONC’s Cures Act Final Rule for HL7 Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR)-based exchange to better support the needs of health centers across the country,” ONC officials noted in the blog post.

The UDS is a standard dataset that health centers funded under the Health Center Program authorized by section 330 of the Public Health Service Act submit annually. The UDS includes patient characteristics, services provided and used, clinical quality measures, health outcomes, staffing, costs, and revenue.

HRSA recently launched a UDS Modernization Initiative to expand and modernize the UDS data set. A key goal of the initiative is to transition from aggregate data submission at the health center level to disaggregated and de-identified UDS patient level submission (UDS+).

“UDS+ will benefit HRSA, HRSA-funded health centers, and our patients,” Jim Macrae, associate administrator of the Bureau of Primary Health Care at HRSA, said in a statement. “HRSA and HRSA-funded health centers will have access to data that helps us better understand the unique characteristics and needs of the over 30 million patients the Health Center Program serves.”

ONC and HRSA teams will collaborate to provide expertise, insight, and guidance on what it will take to establish a USCDI+ dataset that supports UDS reporting.

HRSA will guide these efforts by working closely with health centers, Primary Care Associations, Health Center Controlled Networks, and EHR vendors to build and refine proposed UDS reporting innovations through HRSA’s UDS Test Cooperative (UTC) mechanism.

The UTC will serve as a resource to give “on the ground” feedback on improving UDS reporting and testing the modernized UDS reporting mechanisms.

“ONC will aid these testing efforts by designing and assisting with the deployment of HRSA’s FHIR infrastructure and incorporating feedback from Health Center Program stakeholders,” ONC officials said.

“This modernized infrastructure will ultimately facilitate and reduce UDS reporting burden for health centers by harmonizing with digital quality measure reporting efforts, as well as aligning with ONC’s certification requirements for health IT,” they continued.

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