Here is a good summary on what is new in Meaningful Use Stage 3 Rules.
This excerpt caught my eye:
As far as timing goes, CMS said it disagrees that the API functionality cannot be implemented successfully by 2018 “as the technology is already in widespread use in other industries and API functions already exist in the health IT industry.”
All of this should be a boon for the FHIR (Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources) standard development community and the Argonaut Project, working on API-related standards, as well as for the broader community of mobile app and personal health record developers. With barriers to patient access to their data coming down, patients will finally be able to create their own portals, separate from any health system and share that data with whomever they want.
This is good news for everyone.
If we truly want so solve issues that require access to information where and how we need it, we must provide interoperability. This means not only the data needs to available be in a format that is understood and supported by common applications, it means the method of discovering and accessing that data needs to be understood and supported, as well.
FHIR® (clinical data) is built on the right web technologies and design methods, as is DICOMweb™ (imaging data). With these APIs, we can discover and access the necessary patient information and make it available in any care setting we need.
And these APIs will create the foundation of data liquidity to spark an explosion of innovation of applications—including traditional departmental and enterprise ones, but also web and mobile ones.
Without clearly defined, supported and accessible APIs, we (healthcare) had no hope of achieving the kind of system-wide change required. We have no more excuses now.