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 people with disabilities still face in connecting 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 to this community.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), IDDs are a group of conditions due to impairment in physical, learning, language, or behavioral domains, such as:

Note:- official site intellectual and developmental disabilities an opportunity for improved care coordination.

Other developmental delays

These conditions begin during the developmental period, can affect daily functioning, and typically last throughout a person's life.

Opportunity to improve care coordination

Well-coordinated care across the health and social services 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 sensitive outpatient conditions.

People with IDD often see various clinical specialists on a regular basis, including but not limited to speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, behavioral therapists, physical therapists, neurologists, nutritionists, audiologists, and cardiologists. Your health information often needs to be integrated beyond health care settings, including group homes, private therapy practices, schools, camps, and home and community services.

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. health care and constituent data elements for nationally interoperable health information exchange. (The deadline to update Certified Health Informatics to USCDI Version 1 is December 31, 2022.)

USCDI Version 2, 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.

The ONC recently released version 3 of the draft USCDI, which is available for public comment until April 30, 2022. Version 3 of the draft USCDI offers data elements in a new data class, health status. These data elements include disability status and mental function, which includes more specific cognitive status, representing an important advance for health informatics that can help improve care and address inequalities.

ONC's Annual Standards Publication Advance Process (SVAP) allows certified health informatics developers to voluntarily adopt a new USCDI-approved version into ONC's health informatics certification program and provide the update to their customers. This process provides a mechanism for healthcare IT developers to adopt these new elements and classes of data.

Commitment of the ONC 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 all people achieve.