The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology today opened a four-week comment period on proposed revisions to the Federal Health IT Strategic Plan (pdf). Last updated in 2008, the plan spells out ONC’s strategy for meeting national health IT goals for the five-year period beginning in 2011. The HITECH Act requires this revision.
According to a blog post by national coordinator Dr. David Blumenthal:
Some components of the Plan may already be familiar, including the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record Incentive Programs and the grant programs created by the HITECH Act, which are creating an infrastructure to support meaningful use. However, the Plan also charts new ground for the federal health IT agenda:
- In Goal I, 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.
- In Goal II, we discuss how integral health IT is to the National Health Care Quality Strategy and Plan that is required by the Affordable Care Act.
- In Goal III, we highlight 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.
- In Goal IV, we recognize 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.
- In Goal V, we have 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.
ONC is accepting comments through April 22 via the blog site.