The U.S. Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology has released its draft Federal Health Information Technology Strategic Plan for 2011-2015.  Updating the plan was required by the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, passed as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).  Comments are due April 22, 2011.

The draft updated strategic plan has five overall goals:

  • Goal I: Achieve Adoption and Information Exchange through Meaningful Use of Health IT
  • Goal II: Improve Care, Improve Population Health, and Reduce Health Care Costs through the Use of Health IT
  • Goal III: Inspire Confidence and Trust in Health IT
  • Goal IV: Empower Individuals with Health IT to Improve their Health and the Health Care System
  • Goal V: Achieve Rapid Learning and Technological Advancement

This federal plan , which was last updated in 2008, incorporates the resources and requirements of the HITECH Act.  Some of the highlights in the draft updated plan are:

  • The health information exchange strategy focuses on first fostering business models that create health information exchange, supporting exchange where it is not taking place, and ensuring that information exchange takes place across different business models
  • The plan discusses how integral health IT is to the National Health Care Quality Strategy and Plan that is required by the Affordable Care Act
  • The plan highlights efforts to step up protections to improve privacy and security of health information, and discuss a major investment in an education and outreach strategy to increase the provider community and the public’s understanding of electronic health information, how their information can be used, and their privacy and security rights under the HIPAA Privacy and Security rules
  • The plan recognizes the importance of empowering individuals with access to their electronic health information through useful tools that can be a powerful driver in moving toward more patient-centered care
  • The plan has developed a path forward for building a “learning health system,” that can aggregate, analyze, and leverage health information to improve knowledge about health care across populations.

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