Unlike the typical 3+ hour Oscars show, we only have a few minutes for the One Thoughtful Paragraph. So we will quickly run through the top three health information policy hits this week:
- Just like the film Women Talking, people will find this news too boring to notice — despite its importance: three female U.S. Senators (Amy Klobuchar, Elizabeth Warren, and Mazie Hirono) introduced the Upholding Protections for Health and Online Location Data (UPHOLD) Privacy Act, which would prevent identifiable health data from being used for commercial purposes.
- Just like Avatar: The Way of Water, which is about a futuristic threat to an entire species because of bad decisions by humans, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is unlikely to win an award for its draft internal report on genomic data cybersecurity to address privacy and risk management problems that could rise to the level of national security threats. The agency is accepting public comments through April 3, 2023.
- Just like Top Gun: Maverick, which is an overly-sappy and nostalgic return to a better time for movies, a new report by the ONC is overly-enthusiastic about the progress made on interoperability. Rather than harp for too long on the many challenges remaining about public health reporting, the lack of information blocking penalties, or how mental health therapists, long-term care facilities, and community-based organizations do not have money or mandates to adopt interoperable data standards, the ONC spends most of its 46-page report celebrating its past information-sharing accomplishments.
Why isn’t interoperability more widely adopted yet? Part of the problem is that ONC does not have the authority to fix what else is broken. It reminds us of this dialogue in Top Gun: Maverick:
ED HARRIS: (As Rear Admiral Chester “Hammer” Cain) You should be at least a two-star admiral by now, yet here you are, Captain. Why is that?
CRUISE: (As Captain Pete “Maverick” Mitchell) It’s one of life’s mysteries, sir.