Inside Health Care #97: Dr. Don Rucker and the Race to Digitalization

January 18, 2023 · David J. Smolar

On this episode of “Inside Health Care,” we revisit our 2022 Health Innovation Summit interview with Dr. Don Rucker, a leader in health care digitalization. As you might have experienced, when you go from one doctor to the next, your health records don’t always go with you. Dr. Rucker’s provides insight into interoperability: getting health care software systems to send electronic health records, or EHR, more efficiently.

Dr. Don Rucker

Dr. Rucker is Chief Strategy Officer at 1upHealth. He earned degrees from Harvard, Stanford and the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, and has practiced emergency medicine for 30 years—but he’s best known for serving as the National Coordinator at ONC (that’s the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology), where he led development of the ONC’s 21st Century Cures Act Interoperability Rules.

Dr. Rucker’s presentation at the Health Innovation Summit was called “Evolving Measures from Paper to Fully Executable Software Using Digital Quality Measures and FHIR.” “FHIR” is pronounced like “fire” and stands for Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources. These are digital standards established by Health Level 7 for the exchange of EHR information. In other words, FHIR holds the key to interoperability. As you’ll hear in our interview, digital health can, and should, be part of our already digitalized world.

Later in the show, we observe Birth Defects Prevention Month with some Fast Facts from the CDC on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. We also discuss NCQA HEDIS measures that focus on AOD, alcohol or other drug abuse or dependence. Click here for more resources on treating alcohol use disorder.

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