By Daniel Stein
The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), as most readers of this blog probably know, is a significant driver of progress for our nation’s health system. So Stewards of Change Institute (SOCI) is delighted and honored that ONC has invited us to participate in its online 2021 Tech Forum, which is a showcase for ideas, insights and innovations for advancing health technology to improve patient care, health equity, data exchange and interoperability.
SOCI’s focus at the event will be our Consent Service Utility (CSU), which we have been developing throughout this year with several partners and dozens of subject matter experts from across the country. CSU is a systems-change approach to modernizing the processes by which individuals (patients, consumers, clients, etc.) allow or deny the exchange of their personal information across programs, sectors and domains such as healthcare, behavioral health, education, housing, probation and other social factors that greatly impact everyone’s health and well-being.
We urge you to register for the ONC forum, which takes place on September 10 and September 17. And, of course, we invite you to learn more about SOCI’s many initiatives, especially our CSU, at our very-cool-looking virtual booth at the event.
Here’s a brief preview of what you’ll learn about CSU:
- CSU is an open-source, open-standards technical solution and architecture that will be replicable and customizable
- It is usable and useful across multiple social and human services, as well as across those that are directly healthcare-related
- Our initial testing and implementation partners are the federally funded Integrated Care for Kids (InCK) sites in New Jersey and New York
We’re developing this innovative approach as part of Project Unify, an initiative we launched a few years ago to advance interoperability and information sharing across the Social Determinants of Health and Well-Being (SDOH), because we strongly believe they are key to making substantive, enduring progress, most pointedly to broadly further health equity. Specifically, we believe the CSU could be transformational by enabling and empowering individual decision-making while dramatically reducing duplication, lowering costs, streamlining processes and improving outcomes.
We’re very grateful to the ONC for its growing interest in Project Unify and the CSU, not only by enabling us to highlight them during the upcoming Tech Forum, but also by potentially including them in ONC’s own initiatives, accelerator programs and efforts relating to SDOH.
This work, which is a strategic priority for SOCI, grew out of our National Action Agenda to Advance Upstream Social Determinants and Health Equity (NAA), a major initiative we launched a couple of years ago with the Stanford University Center for Population Health Sciences and additional organizational collaborators across the U.S. The initiative’s intent was (and still is) to instigate and implement tangible, systems-level change across Health, Human Services, Education, Public Health, Public Safety and other domains.
The CSU is a primary way in which we’re striving to achieve that objective, and we’ve assembled a formidable team of volunteer technologists, subject-matter experts and other professionals to conduct the work. If you want to learn more about this ambitious, potentially transformational effort – or want to participate in it, individually or with your organization – please write me at firstname.lastname@example.org.