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Federal Health IT Strategic Plan Released for Public Comment

 Federal Health IT Strategic Plan Released for Public CommentDecember 30, 2014 by Vickie Anenberg

The Department of Health and Human Services has released its 2015–2020 Federal Health IT Strategic Plan for public comment through February 6, 2015. The document is subject to update every three years, and HHS calls it a “Nationwide Interoperability Roadmap.”

The plan was authored by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) at HHS, with input from over 35 other federal agencies. It is intended to provide a guideline for making current, incompatible systems such as EMRs, share the health data they collect, regardless of vendor.    

Dr. Karen DeSalvo, the national coordinator for health IT and acting assistant secretary for health, said during a media briefing, “There is a strong sense, both within the federal government and the private sector, that it’s time for the data to move, and then the uses can come to fruition. And that’s going to encourage the further collection of additional health information.”

ONC is encouraging input on the plan from states, the private sector, and concerned individuals. It is important for healthcare provider leaders to understand the thinking and factors driving the government’s push for broad information system interoperability. According to DeSalvo, “We want to know if we’re focusing on the things that matter.”

To voice your opinion and provide input on this important subject, submit your comment here. The draft of this 5-year Strategic Plan will be followed by a 10-year roadmap for interoperability ONC expects to release in January.

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