HHS published on Oct. 30 the final 2020-2025 Federal Health IT Strategic Plan, which outlines objectives to improve individual access to electronic health information to better manage health and shop for care.
The HHS Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology created the 50-page plan in collaboration with more than 25 federal organizations and in support of the 21st Century Cures Act. ONC released the draft of the plan in January and included nearly 100 public comments in the development of the final version.
The guidelines require healthcare providers, payers and researchers to increase use and availability of health IT tools and systems that give patients smartphone access to their health information, offer tracking and managing of healthcare treatments and allow for communications with their providers.
While the plan only applies to the actions of federal agencies, it offers signals to the private sector on the federal government’s direction and can help guide coordination and health IT investment decisions. ONC said it intends for the plan to be used to help agencies drive alignment and prioritize potential health IT initiatives and collaboration opportunities with public and private partners.
The plan includes four main goals:
1. Promote health and wellness via the following objectives: improving patient access to usable health information, advancing healthy and safe health IT practices and integrating HHS data between federal, state, regional and local agencies.
2. Enhance the delivery and experience of care via the following objectives: using health IT to improve clinical practice and connecting patients to care, fostering price quality and transparency competition, reducing regulatory and administrative burden on providers and supporting health IT resources management and a national workforce that feels confident using health IT.
3. Build a data-driven ecosystem that supports research and innovation via the following objectives: advancing individual- and population-level transfer of health data and fueling research using health IT and data at the individual and population levels.
4. Connect healthcare with data via the following objectives: advancing the development and use of health IT capabilities, establishing data-sharing expectations, improving tech and communications infrastructure and promoting secure health information practices that protect individual privacy.
Click here to view the 2020-2025 Federal Health IT Strategic Plan.
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