On October 30, 2020, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced the publication of its final 2020-2025 Federal Health IT Strategic Plan. Developed by the HHS ONC in collaboration with 25 federal organizations and formed with input from 100 public comments, this plan outlines federal goals and objectives for Health Information Technology (Health IT) and focuses specifically on the access of individuals to their electronic health information.
This new plan is intended to explain how the federal government plans to use Health IT in order to achieve the following four elements of their strategic vision:
- To promote health and wellness
- To enhance the delivery and experience of care
- To build a secure, data-driven ecosystem to accelerate research and innovation
- To connect healthcare with health data
The full text of the final Federal Health IT Strategic Plan can be found in PDF format via this link.
“The new federal health IT strategic plan continues the momentum created by the 21st Century Cures Act and reflects the federal government’s commitment to making patients’ electronic health information accessible on their smartphones,” said Don Rucker, MD, National Coordinator for Health IT, in an official press release. “Thank you to everyone who commented on the draft plan, your input helped us shape a final version that lays out coordinated actions across the federal government.”
The key principles outlined in the final strategic plan, which seems to continue the trend towards promoting outcome-based care, are as follows:
- Putting individuals first by focusing on person-centered care
- Focusing on value by promoting and pursuing activities that improve health and care quality
- Building a culture of secure access to health information
- Putting research into action
- Encouraging innovation and competition
- Being a responsible steward by developing health IT policies through open, transparent and accountable processes
As we continue to move closer to 2021, more healthcare guidelines and regulations will likely continue to be updated, modified and/or finalized. Stay tuned to this blog to make sure you stay up to date on what’s happening and how it affects both your specialty and your practice.
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