Federal Health IT Office Unveils Five-Year Strategic Plan

HHS' Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT on Tuesday released a five-year strategic plan to serve as a guide to coordinate the federal government's health IT efforts, Digital Healthcare & Productivity reports.

"The plan provides an extensive documentation of the work completed by ONC and other federal partners over the past five years," National Coordinator for Health IT Robert Kolodner said in a press release, adding, "It also establishes the next generation of health IT milestones to harness the power of information technology to help transform health and care in the country."

Plan Details

The "ONC-Coordinated Federal Health IT Strategic Plan: 2008-2012" includes two main goals: patient-focused health care and population health, Healthcare IT News reports.

The patient-focused health care goal "envisions a transformation to higher-quality, more cost-efficient care [and] meeting patients' needs through electronic health record information access and use," according to ONC. Meanwhile, the office's population health goal is to provide appropriate and timely access and use of electronic health information to boost public health, biomedical research, quality improvement and emergency preparedness (Monegain, Healthcare IT News, 6/3).

In addition, the plan provides timelines for achieving more than 40 milestones in the areas of:

To reach these goals, the plan calls for:
  • Engaging multiple stakeholders across the public and private sectors;
  • Addressing reliability, confidentiality, privacy and security when exchanging, storing and using electronic health data; and
  • Focusing on the health care consumer as a key participant (Healthcare IT News, 6/3).

ONC's health IT plan was created in collaboration with 12 agencies and staff divisions within HHS; the Departments of Commerce, Defense and Veterans Affairs; and the Federal Communications Commission. The National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics and the American Health Information Community also contributed to the plan (Digital Healthcare & Productivity, 6/3).

ONC's five-year strategic plan is available online (.pdf).

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