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Data Usability Takes Root Nationwide Through a Joint Project Between The Sequoia Project and AHIMA

Community Advancing Health IT Interoperability Continues Branches Into Implementation

The Sequoia Project, a nonprofit and trusted advocate for nationwide health IT interoperability, recently announced the launch of a new initiative called Data Usability Taking Root to make health data more useful. Multiple health and health IT organizations have already pledged their support for The Sequoia Project’s new initiative including the following:

• Azuba;
• Civitas Networks for Health;
• Epic;
• Foothold Technology;
• HCA;
• Health Gorilla;
• HIMSS Electronic Health Record Association;
• Kno2;
• MedAllies;
• New York eHealth Collaborative; and
• Optum.

Taking Root participants are building a community of practice committed to implementing data usability guidance published by The Sequoia Project Interoperability Matters Data Usability Workgroup. The guidance targets improvements necessary for semantic interoperability of health information, beginning with the quality of clinical data shared between health care providers.

“Over three years, more than 260 health organizations worked together through The Sequoia Project to develop practical guidance to make health data more useful for health care providers, health IT vendors, public health, health information exchanges, and patients,” says Mariann Yeager, CEO of The Sequoia Project. “It’s time to put this guidance into action for the public good.”

The Data Usability Taking Root initiative will improve the usability of data received by end users within their workflows by making data more computable and actionable. Participants of the new initiative will choose their implementation pathways and paces, selecting topics most meaningful to their organizations. The Sequoia Project will provide technical assistance, testing support, and facilitation of the data usability community of practice to support implementation.
A series of virtual events this summer will culminate in a Data Usability Taking Root Summit on September 6, 2023, in Washington, D.C.

“Implementers choose to work on areas that matter most to them,” explains Didi Davis, The Sequoia Project’s vice president of informatics, conformance, and interoperability. “For some, this could mean working on data provenance and traceability of change, data integrity and trust, or data tagging and searchability. For others, it could mean effective use of codes, reducing the impact of duplicates, effective use of narrative, or any combination they choose.”

Launching and growing the movement is a monumental undertaking for The Sequoia Project, made possible through a collaboration with AHIMA. The organizations encourage implementers to adopt a data-usability-in-all-projects approach to make practical incremental improvements over time, and to stop thinking of usability as a distinct health IT project.

“Data usability is part of the DNA of the health information profession. We support this work not only because the public and private sectors together have made significant strides in health data interoperability but because for over 96 years, AHIMA has been laser-focused on ensuring the completeness and usefulness of health data” says Amy Mosser, interim AHIMA CEO. “Implementation of data usability guidance on a national scale will promote consistency across technologies that share data, at a time when more data are available and shared than ever before.”

Health and health IT organizations committed to making health data more useful can now join the Data Usability Taking Root movement. For more information, contact The Sequoia Project at TakingRoot@sequoiaproject.org.

Source: The Sequoia Project