How the Interoperability Rule, APIs Could Reduce Clinician Burden

May 19, 2020 - The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) final interoperability rule has the potential to transform EHR systems by improving interoperability and addressing clinician burden, according to health IT experts from Pew Charitable Trusts and American Medical Association.

Similar to how cellular phones have transformed technology and enhanced daily life for individuals, Pew explained that application programming interfaces (APIs) and enhanced interoperability mandated in the ONC final rule can have a similar positive impact on the future of EHRs.

While the ONC final rule takes a hard stance on information blocking, it also calls on medical providers and device developers to promote patient data access using third-party apps and APIs.

“Many Americans already use programs that rely on these types of interfaces, perhaps without realizing it,” Ben Moscovitch, project director for Health Information Technology at Pew; Ashley Ashworth, Pew; Matt Reid, AMA; and Laura Hoffman, AMA, wrote in a recent post. “For example, APIs are the underlying technology that enables online shopping and personal finance tracking. If broadly used in health care, they could usher in a new era for EHRs, enabling patients, clinicians, and researchers to access data in simpler, more efficient ways than they’re able to today.”


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