New Federal Health IT Strategy Sets Sights on a Heathier, More Innovative, and More Equitable Health Care Experience

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ONC seeks public comment by May 28, 2024

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) through the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), today released the draft 2024–2030 Federal Health IT Strategic Plan (the draft Plan) for public comment. The draft Plan:

  • Outlines federal health IT goals and objectives that are focused on improving access to health data, delivering a better, more equitable health care experience, and modernizing our nation’s public health data infrastructure.
  • Places an emphasis on the policy and technology components necessary to support the diverse data needs of all health IT users.
  • Supports the Department’s recent Health Data, Technology, and Interoperability: Certification Program Updates, Algorithm Transparency, and Information Sharing (HTI-1) final rule to advance the access, exchange, and use of electronic health information (EHI), and deliver more transparent and equitable care for individuals.
  • Aligns with the HHS Health Care Sector Cybersecurity concept paper and voluntary health care specific Cybersecurity Performance Goals (CPGs) to help health care organizations prioritize implementation of high-impact cybersecurity practices.

“As part of our statutory duty to align and coordinate health IT efforts with our federal partners, ONC collaborated on the draft Plan with more than 25 federal agencies. These agencies regulate, purchase, develop, and use health IT to deliver care and improve health outcomes, and they increasingly rely on the access, exchange, and use of EHI to effectively execute their missions,” said Micky Tripathi, Ph.D., national coordinator for health information technology. “We look forward to public comments to help inform the federal government’s health IT strategy for the coming years.”

Health IT is integral to how health care is delivered, how health is managed, and how the health of populations and communities is tracked. Thanks in part to the development of common standards, such as the United States Core Data for Interoperability (USCDI) and Health Level Seven International® (HL7®) Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources® (FHIR®), health information has become more accessible and useful. Recent data shows that more than 88 percent of hospitals report electronically sending and obtaining patient health information and more than 60 percent report integrating that information into their electronic health records (EHRs). In addition, more individuals report accessing their health information online than ever before.

“The role of health IT and readily available access to health data have become increasingly essential to the administration of public health activities,” said Jim Jirjis, director of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Data Policy and Standards Division. “CDC appreciates how the draft 2024-2030 Federal Health IT Strategic Plan addresses the need to continue to advance the nation’s public health data infrastructure, while making sure that it is benefiting the communities that need it most.”

“As the VA modernizes its electronic health record system, the draft 2024-2030 Federal Health IT Strategic Plan provides direction towards a seamless health care experience that helps patients and providers benefit from a connected health system,” said Meg Marshall, director of informatics regulatory affairs at the Veterans Health Administration. “Not only that, the draft Federal Health IT Strategic Plan serves as an actionable roadmap for the federal government to align and coordinate health IT efforts in a transparent and accountable manner. We are looking for public comment about ways to improve health through health IT, so that Veterans too can benefit from the goals of a coordinated federal health IT strategy.”

The draft Plan emphasizes that all populations in the United States can and should benefit from health IT, expanding to include additional sectors, such as public health, and addressing how technologies, such as artificial intelligence, affect health care.

The public comment period for the draft 2024-2030 Federal Health IT Strategic Plan ends on May 28, 2024 at 11:59 pm ET. Visit HealthIT.gov to learn more about how you can submit your comments about the draft Plan.

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