Federal well being IT officers outlined their high objectives and priorities for the subsequent 5 years with a giant focus on pushing the trade to make extra sufferers’ well being knowledge accessible by smartphone apps.
The Division of Well being and Human Companies (HHS) revealed Friday the ultimate 2020-2025 Federal Well being IT Strategic Plan (PDF). The plan is designed to align objectives and assist prioritize sources associated to well being IT and well being knowledge trade throughout federal companies.
The Workplace of the Nationwide Coordinator for Well being IT (ONC) developed the street map in collaboration with greater than 25 federal organizations and was knowledgeable by almost 100 public feedback.
“The brand new federal well being IT strategic plan continues the momentum created by the 21st Century Cures Act and displays the federal authorities’s dedication to creating sufferers’ digital well being file (EHR) data accessible on their smartphones,” stated Don Rucker, M.D, nationwide coordinator for well being IT.
In at the moment’s digital world, sufferers’ proper to manage their well being should embody the proper to entry and management their well being data, Rucker wrote within the strategic plan.
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The strategic plan outlines concrete steps federal companions can take to enhance well being by well being IT. The objectives, targets and methods inside this plan spotlight the significance not solely of digital well being data, but additionally of the capabilities enabled by well being IT together with public well being surveillance, telehealth and distant monitoring, Rucker wrote within the plan.
The COVID-19 pandemic attributable to the novel coronavirus has highlighted the significance of IT-enabled instruments in supporting the healthcare infrastructure, he wrote.
The plan can function a street map for federal companies’ initiatives and actions in addition to a catalyst for complementary actions within the personal sector, in line with ONC.
The draft plan outlines 4 objectives: selling well being and wellness, enhancing care supply, constructing a data-driven ecosystem to speed up analysis and innovation and higher connecting healthcare providers with well being knowledge.
The strategic plan matches up with two huge knowledge sharing guidelines finalized by HHS this yr geared toward stopping data blocking and spurring knowledge sharing.
Key well being IT targets outlined within the strategic plan embody bettering particular person entry to well being data, advancing the use of evidence-based digital therapeutics and integrating well being and human providers data to assist deal with social determinants of well being (SDOH) on the particular person and inhabitants ranges.
ONC is pushing for SDOH knowledge to be captured and built-in into EHRs to help in care processes as one technique to handle social determinants, in line with the plan.
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The plan additionally suggests broad methods to assist digital care similar to bolstering entry to distant monitoring, surveillance software program, telehealth and different IT-enabled cellular providers and supporting the adoption of infrastructure wanted for telehealth to succeed in sufferers outdoors conventional care settings.
One other strategic objective is to extend competitors within the well being IT market by lowering the monetary and regulatory limitations that stop new well being IT builders from coming into the area and making it simpler to transmit well being knowledge from one well being IT product to a different.
To foster extra belief and confidence in well being IT, ONC’s plan pushes for security and user-centered design ideas for use within the growth of well being IT to assist guarantee instruments are secure, accessible, usable and deal with the wants of finish customers.
One other key goal is to make use of well being IT to cut back the executive and documentation burden on suppliers by simplifying and streamlining documentation, selling the usage of evidence-based automated instruments and supporting the usage of digital provider-to-provider knowledge trade.
In a press release, Facilities for Medicare & Medicaid Companies Administrator Seema Verma stated her company and ONC have a shared federal imaginative and prescient to leverage well being IT to cut back burden, promote the interoperable trade of well being data throughout the healthcare system, decrease prices and in the end enhance affected person care.