Health Industry Leaders Announce Steps to Strengthen Data Sharing During Public Health Emergencies

Extensive Collaboration Among Healthcare Companies, Associations, Academia, Government Aimed at Improving Disaster Readiness and Response

WASHINGTON – Health industry leaders announced today a series of planned actions that will ensure improved sharing of and access to critical healthcare data during all types of public health emergencies including natural disasters, infectious disease outbreaks and cyber incidents. The steps being taken, they said, will reflect lessons learned during the recent COVID-19 pandemic.

The actions are part of an initiative undertaken by the Healthcare Leadership Council, a multi-sector health policy advocacy association. The initiative was co-chaired by Dr. Brendan Carr, Chair of Emergency Medicine at the Mount Sinai Health System and Icahn School of Medicine, and Liz Porter, President of the Leidos Health Group.

“What we learned during the recent pandemic is that, if data systems and processes are not in place before a crisis begins, it is extremely difficult to construct them on the fly,” said Ms. Grealy. “Effective data sharing is essential to coordinating and providing care during a catastrophe, regardless of the nature of the crisis, and what we’re doing now is ensuring that when the next emergency inevitably arrives, we will be better prepared for it.”

Private sector healthcare companies engaged in the project have committed to three actionable steps that can be implemented over the next one to three years:

· Creating a template to more easily establish data use agreements between healthcare entities, enabling more efficient data sharing when a disaster strikes.

· Agreeing upon common data standards and core essential elements of information for different emergency and disaster use cases which will reduce reporting burdens and improve data sharing efficiency.

· Building industry consensus support for federal data sharing and disaster readiness initiatives such as the Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement (TEFCA).

The initiative included extensive interviews with experts in healthcare delivery, data access and interoperability and disaster readiness to better understand the current challenges to effective data sharing and to ascertain best practices that could be expanded upon.

The steering committee for the project included leaders from Ascension, Baxter, Cotiviti, Elevance Health, Epic, IQVIA, Leidos, Mayo Clinic, McKesson, Mount Sinai Health System, Optum, Oracle and Surescripts. Multiple government agencies were also involved to provide expertise, including the Administration for Strategic Planning and Response, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology.

For Immediate Release: December 14, 2023
Contact: Kelly Fernandez, (202) 449-3452