By Barbara Carr, RHIA
Strategic Advisor

March 21, 2024

In recent years, artificial intelligence’s (AI) use in healthcare has grown into a realm of profound innovation, promising to revolutionize the very landscape of medical practice and patient care. From performing labor intensive repetitive tasks, enhancing diagnostic accuracy, treatment efficacy, and operational efficiency, AI stands as a beacon of hope to address some of the most pressing challenges facing the healthcare industry.


The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) actively promotes the adoption and responsible use of AI in healthcare. During the February Verisma Academy webinar, Elisabeth Myers, Deputy Director, Office of Policy, ONC, presented their current guidance regarding the use of AI in clinical decision support.


Myers also outlined numerous challenges surrounding the use of AI in healthcare such as perpetuating information asymmetries that may lead to healthcare inequalities. AI can also magnify ethical, legal and social concerns during data collection and use, leading to ineffective or even unsafe recommendations.

Guidelines and Initiatives

Given this, the ONC developed guidelines to facilitate the responsible and ethical use of AI in healthcare, including considerations for data privacy, security, and equity. A few of their key initiatives are:

  • Interoperability Standards facilitating the seamless exchange of healthcare data, crucial for AI applications to access and analyze data from various sources
  • Ethical Guidelines ensuring AI is used responsibly — protecting patient privacy and promoting equitable healthcare delivery
  • Data Governance Frameworks addressing data quality, security, and privacy issues


As a result, the ONC issued a final rule regarding Decision Support Intervention (DSI) which revises existing Clinical Decision Support (CDS) criterion, streamlining and simplifying requirements for all Health IT Modules. In addition, it establishes new maintenance of certification requirements to continuously review and update DSI-related information. Myers describes the policy impact of DSI Certification Criterion as follows:

  • Improving transparency
  • Enhancing trustworthiness
  • Fostering an information ecosystem
  • Advancing health equity by design

The final rule preamble describes each characteristic and associated approaches that can be taken to assess and mitigate risks. Myers provided participants with a link to ONC’s website for more information on their AI initiatives and fact sheets regarding DSI’s final rule.

Education and Training

The ONC also has initiatives to educate and train providers and organizations about the potential benefits and challenges of AI in healthcare. In addition, ONC works closely with other federal agencies, such as the Food and Drug Administration, to develop regulatory frameworks for AI-based medical devices and software applications.

AI is growing rapidly and the ONC is staying on top of it by developing standards and rules for the safe and effective use of AI in healthcare. Interested in learning more? Access Verisma Academy’s on-demand course: Exploring HTI-1, TEFCA and AI in Healthcare – Where are we in 2024?

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