On Tuesday, the ONC released the 2016 Interoperability Standards Advisory (ISA)—a catalog of existing and emerging standards and implementation specifications developed and used to meet specific interoperability needs.
The overall purpose of the 2016 Interoperability Standards Advisory is:
1) 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.
2) To 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.
3) To 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.
The 2016 Advisory includes 6 informative characteristics for each standard and implementation specification referenced that were added to the Advisory in detail:
1. Standards Process Maturity
This characteristic conveys a standard or implementation specification’s maturity in terms of its stage within a particular organization’s approval/voting process
2. Implementation Maturity
This characteristic conveys a standard or implementation specification’s maturity based upon its implementation state.
3. Adoption Level
This characteristic conveys a standard or implementation specification’s approximate and average adoption level in health care within the United States. Presently, it is based on ONC’s analysis of several factors, including, but not limited to: 1) whether and/or how long a standard or implementation specification has been included in regulation for health IT certification (if applicable) or another HHS regulatory or program requirement; 2) feedback from subject matter experts, and 3) public comments.
4. Federally Required
This characteristic (provided as a “Yes” or “No”) conveys whether a standard or implementation specification has been adopted in regulation, referenced as a federal program requirement, or referenced in a federal procurement (i.e., contract or grant) for a particular interoperability need. Where available, a link to the regulation has been provided.
This characteristic conveys whether a fee is involved to purchase, license or obtain membership for access or use of the recommended standard or implementation specification.
6: Test Tool Availability
This characteristic conveys whether a test tool is available to evaluate health IT’s conformance to the standard or implementation specification for the particular interoperability need.
An example of this can be seen below: