March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, a time to raise awareness about the inclusion of people with developmental disabilities in all aspects of community life, as well as the barriers that people with disabilities still face at some point. given to connect with the communities in which they live. . ONC works to ensure that health information technology improves the health and health care of all Americans, including vulnerable populations such as people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). Three key ONC priorities – health equity, care coordination and information sharing – are essential for this community.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), IDD are a group of conditions due to physical, learning, language, or behavioral impairment, such as:
autism spectrum disorder
Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder
Learning or intellectual disabilities
Other developmental delays
These conditions begin during the developmental period, can affect day-to-day functioning, and typically last a person's lifetime.
Opportunity to improve coordination of care
Well-coordinated care across the health and social service sectors is imperative for people with IDD, a complex population that is less healthy and has higher rates of emergency department use and hospitalization due to outpatient sensitive conditions.
People with DID often see several clinical specialists on a regular basis, including but not limited to speech language pathologists, occupational therapists, behavioral therapists, physiotherapists, neurologists, nutritionists, audiologists, and cardiologists . Your health information often needs to be integrated beyond health care facilities, including group homes, private therapy practices, schools, camps, and home and community services.
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Health informatics and health information exchange
Most hospitals and physicians in the United States use health information technology certified by the ONC's Health Information Technology Certification Program. The new requirements for Certified Healthcare IT Developers were established by the ONC Cures Act Final Rule and require the United States Core Data for Interoperability (USCDI), a standardized set of healthcare data classes and constituent data elements for nationwide interoperable health information exchange. (The deadline for upgrading to USCDI Version 1 in Certified Health Informatics is December 31, 2022.)
Version 2 of USCDI, released in July 2021, added four social determinants of health (SDOH) data elements to help identify and address specific needs in areas such as food insecurity, housing and transportation, and to coordinate care and support to improve health outcomes.
ONC recently released Draft USCDI v3, which is available for public comment through April 30, 2022. Draft USCDI v3 offers data elements in a new class of data, health status. These data elements include disability status and mental function, which includes more specific cognitive status, representing an important advancement for health informatics that can help improve care and address inequities.
ONC's Annual Standards Release Advancement Process (SVAP) allows certified healthcare IT developers to voluntarily adopt a new USCDI-approved version into ONC's healthcare IT certification program and provide the update to their customers. This process provides a mechanism for healthcare informatics developers to adopt these new data elements and classes.
ONC's commitment with DEIA
ONC is dedicated to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility (DEIA) efforts. People with intellectual and developmental disabilities are represented across all races, genders and ages, and are often in need of a health care advocate. While our nation still has much work to do to meet the dreams, goals, health care, and needs of people with IDD, we know that health IT can be used to help each person achieve their full health potential.
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