HHS announces $1.5 million in funding opportunities to advance common health data standards

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) today released two funding opportunities, offered by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), worth $1.5 million designed to build on the efforts of the federal government and private industry around the use of common standards that support the sharing of health information to improve the delivery of care.

“We have made significant progress in the flow of health information, but we still have work to do to ensure different systems speak the same language,” said Karen DeSalvo, M.D., M.P.H., M.Sc., national coordinator for health IT. “Today’s announcement will advance the use of common, interoperable standards, particularly for key pieces of data like medications and lab results.”

The High Impact Pilot and Standards Exploration Award cooperative agreement programs are designed to spur the development of standards and technology that will improve the sharing of health information among health care stakeholders and thus improve care delivery and the patient experience. Applicants must first consider using and testing standards listed in ONC’s Interoperability Standards Advisory, a coordinated catalog of existing and emerging standards and specifications to meet specific needs for the exchange of health information. Award recipients in each program will need to generate evidence regarding whether their specific standards and technology are ready for widespread use and larger investments.

Three to seven High Impact Pilot projects are expected to be funded ranging from $100,000 to $500,000. Three to five Standards Exploration Award projects are expected to be funded ranging from $50,000 to $100,000.

Applications are due on July 8, 2016. More information is available at: https://www.healthit.gov/techlab/pilots/standards-exploration-awards.

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