Deven McGraw, Project HealthDesign Regulatory and Assurance Advisory Group, Center for Democracy & Technology
Ordinarily August is a slow month for federal policy, particularly in an election year. Congress goes on recess, and it is a popular month for family vacations. But August has been a month of milestones for Project HealthDesign:
ODLs Being Considered for Inclusion in Stage 3 of Meaningful Use
On August 1, the federal Health IT Policy Committee met to begin deliberations on potential meaningful use and EHR certification criteria for Stage 3 of the EHR incentive program. The Policy Committee’s meaningful use workgroup presented preliminary recommendations for Stage 3 criteria; under consideration is a requirement that patients be provided with the ability to report patient-generated data to providers and hospitals. Observations of daily living (ODLs) are specifically mentioned on the list of acceptable types of patient-generated data.
Although the Policy Committee is just beginning to deliberate the proposed Stage 3 criteria, the presence of ODLs on the initial list of options for provider incorporation of patient-generated data into the EHR is a significant development. The testimony of Nikolai Kirienko, co-director of Project HealthDesign’s Chronology.MD team, and Patti Brennan, Project HealthDesign national program director, at the Policy Committee’s recent hearing on patient-generated data helped make the case for having ODLs as an option for incorporating patient-generated data to meet Stage 3 meaningful use.
Policy Committee deliberations about Stage 3 criteria will continue into the fall, and a formal Request for Public Comment on proposed criteria is planned for release in November 2012. It will be critical for proponents of including patient-generated data such as ODLs into clinical workflows to continue to weigh in on Stage 3 discussions.
Project HealthDesign Spotlighted at Briefing on Capitol Hill
On August 13, Project HealthDesign was the topic of a briefing sponsored by the Alliance for Health Reform, the Bipartisan Policy Center, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The briefing was carried live by C-SPAN 2 and featured Stephen Downs (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation), Stephen Rothemich (Project HealthDesign’s BreathEasy team; Virginia Commonwealth University), and Deven McGraw (Project HealthDesign’s Regulatory and Assurance Advisory Group; Center for Democracy & Technology) — as well as Joy Pritts (Chief Privacy Officer, Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT).
The briefing, which took place in the Dirksen Senate Office Building, was well attended. Those present were particularly interested in hearing more about how clinicians in the BreathEasy project incorporated ODLs into clinical workflows, and how the health care system can financially support innovative models of care like those in Project HealthDesign.
The briefing also provided an opportunity to draw attention to “Lessons from Project HealthDesign: Strategies for Safeguarding Patient-Generated Health Information Created or Shared through Mobile Devices” (pdf), a new paper from Project HealthDesign’s Regulatory and Assurance Advisory Group (Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP, and the Center for Democracy & Technology), which was published in late July by the Journal of Healthcare Information Management (JHIM). The paper draws on the experiences of the five current Project HealthDesign grantee teams and the approaches they used to implement device and security precautions.