ONC lays out its 5-year health IT plan

HHS has released a draft of its five-year Federal Health IT Strategic Plan, outlining the goals, objectives and strategies for the government to pursue.

The plan was created by the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for Health Information Technology for HHS with the aim to increase transparency, competition and consumer choice. ONC and CMS previously released proposed rules for increased interoperability and transparency by requiring all healthcare providers to give patients free access to the medical records through electronic apps.

“The draft federal strategic plan supports the provisions in the 21st Century Cures Act that will help to bring electronic health information into the hands of patients through smartphone applications,” Don Rucker, MD, said in the HHS announcement. “We look forward to public comment to help guide the federal government’s strategy to have a more connected health system that better serves patients.”

Specifically, the draft of the plan gives federal agencies an outline to regulate, purchase, develop and use health IT to improve patient health and deliver care. HHS referred to the plan as a “roadmap” for federal agencies that will also drive private sector alignment on health IT.

The release of the draft also means it is open for public comment until March 18, 2020.

“The Federal Health IT Strategic Plan represents the work being done, collectively and individually, to help ensure that patients and their providers can electronically access the health information they need to help them manage their care,” Lauren Thompson, interoperability director for the Federal Electronic Health Record Modernization Program Office, said in the announcement. “We are looking for public comment about ways to expand the use of health IT to help improve the quality of care for people, so that those currently serving in or retired from the armed forces can benefit from a great care delivery experience, along with all other Americans.”

See the draft plan here.