The 21st Century Cures Act of 2016 (2016), which has been a public law since the end of 2016 in the US, incorporates multiple important provisions regarding technology in healthcare, especially in connection to informatics. This paper is dedicated to its Section 4003. Section 4003 focuses on the nationwide interoperability of healthcare information technology (HIT) and networks.
According to the 21st Century Cures Act of 2016 (2016), interoperability refers to the secure exchange of information between HIT and healthcare networks, which is currently hindered by the lack of common standards that would be adopted across the US. Interoperability advances HIT and its use in healthcare while facilitating information exchange, which is why it is prioritized by healthcare informatics (Perlin, 2016). In other words, the efforts that are aimed at enhancing interoperability are necessary, and any legislative acts that are intended to ensure them are commendable.
As for the methods that are employed by the Act, it can be suggested that they are reasonable. The section instructs the National Institute of Standards to assemble with other relevant organizations and work on developing the measures that would enable interoperability in the US. The Act incorporates provisions for the establishment of a nation-wide exchange framework with the necessary policies and rules that would allow it to function. The regulation does not offer many details, which is why it is not very restrictive. Given that the negotiation of potential rules and guidelines should take into account the perspectives of multiple organizations, this approach appears reasonable.
The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (2018) has already presented a draft interoperability framework, which means that the legislation has had its impact on the US policies. In summary, the introduction of a law that actively promotes the interoperability of HITs in the US was a reasonable decision. Future amendments may make the legislation in this area more detailed and focused by taking into account the experience provided by the 21st Century Cures Act of 2016 (2016) and its outcomes.
21st Century Cures Act of 2016, 34 U.S.C. § 4003 (2016).
Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology. (2018). Draft trusted exchange framework. Web.
Perlin, J. (2016). Health information technology interoperability and use for better care and evidence. JAMA, 316(16), 1667-1668. Web.