HHS Proposes Path to Improve Health Technology and Transform Care

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology has released a roadmap for delivering better care through the exchange of electronic health information.

The Department of Health and Human Services' Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) has released a draft roadmap called "Connecting Health and Care for Nation: A Shared Nationwide Interoperability Roadmap Version 1.0." The draft roadmap is a proposal to deliver better care through the use of electronic health information.

"HHS is working to achieve a better health care system with healthier patients, but to do that, we need to ensure that information is available both to consumers and their doctors," said HHS Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell. "Great progress has been made to digitize the care experience, and now it's time to free up this data so patients and providers can securely access their health information when and where they need it. A successful learning system relies on an interoperable health IT system where information can be collected, shared, and used to improve health, facilitate research, and inform clinical outcomes. This roadmap explains what we can do over the next three years to get there."

The draft roadmap builds on the vision paper Connecting Health and Care for the Nation: A 10-Year Vision to Achieve an Interoperable Health IT Infrastructure, which was issued in June 2014. Months of comment and feedback from hundreds of health and health IT experts from across the nation through ONC advisory group feedback, listening sessions, and an online forum aided in the development of the roadmap.

"To realize better care and the vision of a learning health system, we will work together across the public and private sectors to clearly define standards, motivate their use through clear incentives, and establish trust in the health IT ecosystem through defining the rules of engagement. We look forward to working collaboratively and systematically with federal, state, and private sector partners to see that electronic health information is available when and where it matters," said Dr. Karen DeSalvo, M.D., national coordinator for health IT.

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