By Peggy Salvatore
The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology completed its nearly year-long study delivering a wide-ranging, ambitious and forward-looking Federal Health IT Strategic Plan: 2015-2020 – a plan described by ONC as “one that puts the person at the center.”
In her cover letter to the strategic plan, ONC Chief Karen DeSalvo acknowledged that the pace of technological change accelerated at a rate that required a shift in approach to one that is more comprehensive and inclusive of consumer-driven healthcare.
Over the past five years, our nation’s health information technology (health IT) landscape has experienced a remarkable transformation. Developing the Federal Health IT Strategic Plan 2015-2020 (Plan) has given us a chance to reflect on our collective health IT journey. When we released the prior Plan in 2011, non-federal adoption of health IT was in its nascent stages, Affordable Care Act implementation was commencing, and the use of mobile health applications, especially by consumers, was far from ubiquitous.
Rise of the Consumer
The rise of the consumer is clearly center stage in the ONCHIT’s view of 2020. The strategic plan included input from about 35 federal partners including representatives from science, technology, quality, children, minorities, defense, education, labor, NASA and more. An article in Healthcare IT News provides a brief overview. For the geeks among us, the detail resides on the federal server at Health IT Dashboard .
I haven’t had time to review all the detail, but a cursory review of this latest strategic plan and the graph below demonstrates that HHS is determined to lead the parade, not watch from the sidelines.
ONC’s senior strategy advisor Gretchen Wyatt said, “”The (health IT) infrastructure is support for goals one, two and three,” said Wyatt. “This is not a national plan for health, but for how health IT can improve health goals.”
Graph from the Federal Health IT Strategic Plan: 2015-2020.