The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of National Coordinator for Health Information Technology has published its Federal Health IT Strategic Plan for 2015-2020.  As expected, the Strategic Plan shifts its focus away from the 2009 Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act Medicare and Medicaid incentive payments for the meaningful use of electronic health records by hospitals, physicians, and other providers to continuing challenges of interoperability.   The Strategic Plan also highlights the important role that all HHS divisions have in supporting strategic implementation of health IT:

Federal agencies are purchasers, regulators, developers, and users of health IT. In their various roles, they set policy and insure, pay for care, or provide direct patient care for tens of millions of Americans. They also protect and promote population and community health by investing in health and human services and in infrastructure. Additionally, federal agencies develop and implement policies and regulations to advance innovation, support research, promote competition, and protect individual and community safety, privacy, and security.

Here are the goals and objectives in the Strategic Plan:

Goal 1: Advance Person-Centered and Self-Managed Health

  • Objective A: Empower individual, family, and caregiver health management and engagement
  • Objective B: Foster individual, provider, and community partnerships

Goal 2: Transform Health Care Delivery and Community Health

  • Objective A: Improve health care quality, access, and experience through safe, timely, effective, efficient, equitable, and person-centered care
  • Objective B: Support the delivery of high-value health care
  • Objective C: Protect and promote public health and healthy, resilient communities

Goal 3: Foster Research, Scientific Knowledge, and Innovation

  • Objective A: Increase access to and usability of high-quality electronic health information and services
  • Objective B: Accelerate the development and commercialization of innovative technologies and solutions
  • Objective C: Invest in, disseminate, and translate research on how health IT can improve health and care delivery

Goal 4: Enhance Nation’s Health IT Infrastructure

  • Objective A: Finalize and Implement the Nationwide Interoperability Roadmap
  • Objective B: Protect the privacy and security of electronic health information
  • Objective C: Identify, prioritize, and advance technical standards to support secure and interoperable health information and health IT
  • Objective D: Increase user and market confidence in the safety and safe use of health IT products, systems, and services
  • Objective E: Advance a national communications infrastructure that supports health, safety, and care delivery

The five year strategic plan is for the years 2015-2020, despite the fact that it is already October 2015, 10 months into the five years.

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