Federal HIT Plan Released

In June, the ONC Coordinated Health Information Technology Strategic Plan was released. The plan brings together all federal health information technology (HIT) efforts and will guide federal HIT advancement for the next five years.

The plan has two goals, patient-focused health care and population health. The plan for achieving each goal is detailed through 43 strategies that outline the work that needs to be completed. The strategies are aligned with four core components of the plan which are:

1. Privacy and Security - The success of a nationwide interoperable, health IT infrastructure will require a high degree of public confidence and trust. Attention is needed to ensure the capabilities to exchange health information and maintain privacy and security.

2. Interoperability - To effectively exchange health information, health IT systems and products must use consistent, specific data and technical standards. These data and standards must be agreed upon and in some instances required. Data and standards must be testable, and applicable to different systems, types of information, and health care settings.

3. Adoption - To transform health care, relevant health information users must adopt interoperable technologies. It is necessary to identify and reduce or remove obstacles to adoption of EHRs in health care settings. Initiatives such as the CMS Electronic Health Record Demonstration Project should help advance the adoption agenda. There must be sufficient trained technical staff to enable development and deployment of useful technologies. Adoption efforts must ensure that the benefits of health IT reach disadvantaged and underserved populations.

4. Collaborative Governance - Progress toward a nationwide, secure, interoperable health IT infrastructure by 2014 requires support and participation from all health care stakeholders and their participation in advancing health IT. The necessary planning, priority setting, and consistent approaches to implementing policies can best be achieved through appropriate structures and mechanisms for collaborative governance. It is essential that governance occurs across public and private sectors and involves all health care stakeholders.

The complete plan can be accessed HERE or at http://www.hhs.gov/healthit/resources/reports.html
Angela Jeansonne (ajeansonne@osteopathic.org)

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