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ONC Health IT Standards Bulletin

ONC Standards Bulletin 2021-2

Race and ethnicity data are important for many uses, such as informing effective treatment and patient care, improving healthcare outcomes, research, and, identifying and eliminating health disparities to improve health equity. Race and ethnicity data are also critical to informing national priorities, including efforts to advance racial equity and to support underserved communities including “people of color and others who have been historically underserved, marginalized, and adversely affected by persistent poverty
and inequality”.

This ONC Standards Bulletin 2021-2 (SB21-2) describes the specific capabilities health IT certified through the ONC Health IT Certification Program must have with respect to capturing and exchanging granular patient race and ethnicity data. These capabilities have been widely implemented2 in health IT certified to ONC’s 2015 Edition certification criteria, are widely used in ambulatory and inpatient settings, and allow for the electronic capture, exchange, and use of race and ethnicity data.

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