Model-Driven Health Tools (MDHT): Creating Interoperability Models and Infrastructure for the Health and Health IT Community

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How do model-driven health tools improve EHR interoperability?


Imagine if you had a cell phone from a particular carrier that could only call other phones serviced by that carrier. A system such as that would limit the sharing of information and communication among all members in the cell phone community. The current wireless infrastructure allows cell phones to exchange data, text messages, emails, and phone calls across all networks—obviously the best way to facilitate effective communication.


But the same universality doesn’t necessarily exist in the world of health care information technology. A lack of standards and interoperability can create communication and information sharing that is stove-piped, ineffective, duplicative, incomplete—the opposite of the vision of streamlined, effective information sharing that health care information technology (health IT) is meant to facilitate.


The development of the Model-Driven Health Tools (MDHT). MDHT started within the open source, health, and health IT community. The Office of Standards and Interoperability at ONC adopted MDHT into its S&I Framework to create the benchmarks, services, and tools to support standardization.


This initiative establishes a modeling framework and infrastructure to help drive the development of seamless national health IT standards for open communication, model sharing, and standard development within the health and health IT community. The model had to be user-friendly, open to feedback, flexible, and current. MDHT currently has a growing user-based community from the public and private sectors.

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