ONC/IHE USA/ Cooperative Agreement

What is the ONC/IHE USA Cooperative Agreement?
Under this cooperative agreement, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) and Integrating the Health Enterprise (IHE) USA are collaborating to accelerate the creation of new and updated IHE profiles to support the use of the HL7® FHIR® (Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources) standard.  IHE Profiles provide a common language for purchasers and vendors to define the integration needs of healthcare sites and the integration capabilities of healthcare IT products. They provide healthcare professionals seeking to acquire or upgrade systems a convenient, reliable tool that reduces the complexity, cost and anxiety of implementing interoperable systems by providing a way to specify a level of compliance to standards sufficient to achieve truly efficient interoperability. 
Why is this Cooperative Agreement Important?
The goal of the HL7 FHIR standard is to ease interoperability between legacy healthcare systems, make it easier to access healthcare information on a wide variety of devices, and to allow third-party application developers to design innovative medical applications which can be easily integrated into disparate systems.  This cooperative agreement, launched five years into the United States’ Nationwide Interoperability Roadmap, reflects the ONC’s strategic goal to promote the use of the FHIR standard, as well as advancing standardization through profiling, in support of better interoperability. IHE USA, a national deployment committee of IHE International, engages and supports the health IT community by promoting the adoption and use of IHE and other world-class standards, tools, and services for interoperability. This agreement will also strengthen and streamline cross-organizational collaboration efforts between standards developing organizations (SDO), interoperability test tool developers, FHIR champions and other vital stakeholders. 
What is this Cooperative Agreement’s Timeline and Scope?
The IHE Cooperative Agreement project team’s year one (2019-2020) objectives are to:
Catalog IHE Profiles that utilize the FHIR standard to enable cross community health information exchange
Identify and prioritize new profiling opportunities to leverage the FHIR standard.
Accelerate the development of robust, real world testing processes and adoption of the updated FHIR-focused IHE profile and HL7 implementation guides 
Actively engage with HL7 and IHE International on lessons learned through profiling improvements and real-world testing 
All improvements and extensions created by IHE USA will be complementary to International initiatives and made globally available through IHE publications.
What is IHE’s Approach to Standards across the Globe?
IHE International oversees the development and publication of IHE Technical Frameworks worldwide. IHE USA operates as a national deployment committee of IHE International, serving as a voice representing US health IT interests and key partners in national health IT efforts for fostering the national adoption of a consistent set of standards to enable interoperability of health IT systems. The ONC/IHE USA cooperative effort welcomes all stakeholders to collaborate with our project team to make this agreement a success.
Who is Collaborating with IHE USA in Servicing this Cooperative Agreement?
The complex, wide-randing efforts required to achieve the goals set out in this cooperative agreement could not be completed without the support of dedicated collaborators.  The following organizations support the work of IHE USA in meeting the goals of this agreement.
How Do I Get Involved Today?
To learn more about the ONC/IHE USA cooperative agreement, contact the IHE project manager, Katiya Shell, MPH, PMP or senior technical program manager, Adam Bazer, MPD.