Policymakers should make better use of ONC for COVID-19 response,

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The COVID-19 pandemic is a stark reminder of the urgent need for data to inform public health interventions and could serve as an important example of how medical data can be used to monitor progress, according to a new fact sheet released by the Pew Charitable Trusts.The document outlines a series of recommendations for accelerating data infrastructure for surveillance and management of pandemics, as well as the ways digital tools can strengthen access to, and sharing of, healthcare data.
The author of the report, Ben Moscovitch, project director of health information technology for Pew, suggested a more central role for the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology.

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He noted the agency’s experience in evaluating various types of health IT systems and experience with setting health technology standards to assist public health registries or contribute to the installation of a national surveillance system to combat and manage the spread of pandemics.
A major challenge the pandemic has uncovered is the interoperability of different health databases around the country, which have difficulty communicating effectively with each other. The soon-to-be-enforced final rules from ONC on information …

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