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21 January 2020 Newsletter

In lieu of HIMSS2020 being canceled, please join us at the following virtual session:

The Gravity Project: A Social Determinants of Health Data Coding Collaborative (March 11,  4:00 to 5:00 pm EST)  

For more information please visit: Gravity Project Events Page

Food Insecurity Master List

We have been working through the consensus voting comments and will make the finalized Master List and comment dispositions available on Confluence by the end of January. We will send out an email with a link to these documents once they have been published.

Food Insecurity Coding Gap Analysis and Recommendations Report 

As the Gravity Project team works to finalize the Food Insecurity Master List for publication, we have begun our next stage of work–developing the Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) Coding Gaps Analysis and Recommendations report. This report, sponsored by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC), will discuss all coding gaps identified in the Master List and present a list of recommendations for terminology and coding sources to address the coding gaps. The final report will consider the different rules and ontology constraints each terminology supplier requires and will be used to inform what coded value sets will be included in the Gravity FHIR Implementation Guide. .

Preparation for Housing and Transportation Domains

The behind the scenes work to develop the initial housing and transportation data sets for community review will start in the coming weeks. As with food insecurity, this will include marrying the domain data from the SIREN SDOH compendium with subject matter expertise. We are revising our content submission process based on what we have learned through the food insecurity build. As we work to finalize a kickoff date, please continue to submit data element concepts for transportation access and housing stability and quality. Instructions for submitting data elements can be found here:

For more information on Housing Instability Domain Kickoff Meeting (19 March 2020 4 pm EST). Visit: Gravity Project Meetings

Project Funding and Governance Structure

The Gravity Project’s work has had significant visibility on the national landscape (see Gravity In the News below). To enable the Gravity Project to build on the success of the work to date, we have been working with the Gravity Steering Committee over the past few months to develop a sustainability plan. We are currently seeking sponsors to fund the Project’s work on Housing and Transportation standards. More information is available here: The Gravity Project#BecomeaGravityProjectSponsor . We are also developing a more formal governance structure to support project sustainability and ensure the project’s success through the continued engagement of a broad stakeholder community. 

Gravity FHIR Implementation Guide (IG) Development

Our FHIR IG development work kicked off in December. We will be generating 5 draft versions as we progress toward developing a final version for balloting through the HL7 process in September 2020. Implementers will be helping to flesh out the documentation of the standardized FHIR application interfaces (APIs) we are developing to exchange SDOH content as defined by the Gravity Community and our selected use cases.

The Gravity FHIR IG will be tested at two HL7 FHIR Connectathon events in 2020: San Antonio, TX, in May 2020, and Baltimore, MD in September 2020. If you are interested in participating in the testing, please sign-up on the Gravity Technical Workstream page. The Gravity FHIR IG page includes the scheduling information and links to event details that are available at this time.

Our first Connectathon participant preparation call will be held on Wednesday, February 26th from 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm ET.

Gravity In the News

December was a busy month for national publications regarding Gravity and SDOH data standardization. In case you missed it...

  • The Department of Health and Human Services Chief Technology Office (CTO) published the HHS "Leveraging Data on the Social Determinants of Health" Roundtable Report:
    • The report acknowledges the work of the Gravity Project and makes a recommendation to: "Increase funding and support from federal and state governments to bolster national initiatives, such as the Gravity Project, to expand, accelerate, and align workaround SDOH data standards."
    • The report also highlights Dr. Karen DeSalvo’s call to action for a national strategy around SDOH.
  • The Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) published an SDOH focused Health IT Blog Post
    • The blog highlights how ONC is advancing the implementation and use of SDOH data standards through its existing 2015 Edition Program and active participation in the HL7 Gravity Project

Other news:

Upcoming Gravity Events

SDOH Related Sessions at the January 27-28 ONC Annual Meeting

  • Addressing Health Information and Social Determinants of Health Needs in Medicare, Medicaid, and the Administration for Community Living: Federal and State Initiatives (Monday, January 27 at 10:15-11:30am ET)
  • FHIR®: Advancing Interoperability Standards in the API Economy (Tuesday, January 28 at 8:30-9:30 am ET)
  • HHS and Related Efforts to Advance Social Determinants of Health Interoperability (Tuesday, January 28 at 8:30-9:30 am ET)

How to Engage

As we continue to work through the Gravity Project Public Meeting Roadmap for 2020 and a timeline for launching the next SDOH domain for data set identification, we have a couple of homework assignments:

  1. Nominate housing and transportation content experts to serve as subject matter experts for the upcoming data set identification work. Please forward your domain area of expertise and availability to Sarah DeSilvey: 
  2. Identify any individuals or organizations who would like to test Gravity Use Case 1 during the May Connectathon.  Interested parties should complete and submit the signup form here: 
  3. Continue to submit data element concepts for transportation access and housing instability and quality.  Instructions for submitting data elements can be found here:   

a.  As a reminder, our education on data elements and the data element submission tool can be viewed in the meeting recording from July 11, 2019:

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