$2M Awarded For Health IT Innovation via LEAP Initiative

Leading Edge Acceleration Projects in Health Information Technology (IT) program received a $2 million new award from the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for Health IT.

$2M Awarded For Health IT Innovation via LEAP Initiative

This week, the Leading Edge Acceleration Projects (LEAP) in Health Information Technology (IT) program received a $2 million new award from the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for Health IT.

Within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) is a staff division of the Office of the Secretary.

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) is in charge of overseeing national initiatives for the adoption of the most cutting-edge health information technology and the electronic interchange of health data.

The LEAP in Health IT program is designed to honor and support healthcare organizations that are developing novel strategies and instruments to use information technology to improve patient care, advance clinical research capabilities, and address enduring issues, particularly those relating to data interoperability.

Two research imperatives received particular attention from ONC for this year’s edition:

Investigating the use of cutting-edge HL7 Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources features.

Finding ways to improve the data quality of the data elements in the United States Core Data for Interoperability.

The organization is supporting HEALTHeLINK, the non-profit regional health information organization for western New York, and Boston Children’s Hospital for their work on FHIR uses cases and data quality for USCDI, respectively.

Advanced FHIR Capabilities for Advance Care Planning Use Cases to Improve Patient Care is a new project being worked on by HEALTHeLINK, where hospitals, physicians, payers, and others interact across eight western New York counties to exchange clinical information.

The difficulty of having advance care planning papers that are compiled from several sources but are difficult to access at the point of care will be the main topic.

According to ONC, the strategy calls for HEALTHeLINK to investigate FHIR-focused software development employing open-source code, implementation, testing, and piloting in real-world settings.

Showcase advanced FHIR in the onboarding use case to collect advance directive (AD) metadata and PDFs from hospitals and primary care providers via EHR suppliers.

Showcase the application case for HIE/interoperability by demonstrating sophisticated FHIR.

By including AD data sources like eMOLST (NY repository) and My Directives (national repository), you can demonstrate powerful FHIR real-time querying.

With primary care physicians, hospitals, hospices, and emergency medical services (EMS) people, demonstrate advanced SMART on FHIR app and FHIR application programming interface (API) endpoint use case.

Showcase real-time triggers and queries for emergency rooms, pre-visit planning, and AD use cases using sophisticated FHIR.

To boost AD usage and decrease inequities, develop HIE AD data analytics and reporting for population health initiatives, research, and focused community education.

The objective is to accelerate the adoption of enhanced FHIR by demonstrating its utility in resolving challenging interoperability issues in the healthcare industry.

Meanwhile, Boston Children’s Hospital will concentrate on CumulusQ, an open-source platform for enhancing the ecosystem’s FHIR data quality. The project’s main focus is on United States Core Data for Interoperability data components in FHIR format, which are crucial to ONC’s TEFCA activities. It intends to construct and build up an interoperable health IT ecosystem that enables simpler access to high-quality, standardized healthcare data.

The following goals, as stated by the agency:

To understand and evaluate the quality of both structured and unstructured USCDI pieces, develop and put into practice an iterative approach.

Create a deployable, open-source infrastructure that uses FHIR APIs to materialize the iterative process from Objective 1 at healthcare delivery sites.

Implement the tools from Objective 2 at several CumulusQ network locations, then once it has been tuned, provide a snapshot of the data quality at those locations as a representative benchmark, with root cause investigation of data abnormalities.

In an effort to fund cutting-edge research on a range of clinical and technological imperatives, including decision support at the point of care, population-level data-focused APIs, tools to make electronic health records more AI-ready, referral management strategies that address social determinants of health, and more, ONC established the LEAP in Health IT Program five years ago.

For instance, in 2020, the grants provided $2.7 million to a number of hospitals, health systems, HIEs, and public health organizations to research various interoperability and data sharing projects.

Steve Posnack, the deputy national coordinator for health information technology, said in a statement that he and his team were interested to watch how these new winners got started and what they might do using FHIR and USCDI.