Federal Health IT Strategic Plan Outlines 5 Key Goals

The updated federal health information technology strategic plan is an attempt to collect, share, and use interoperable health information to improve care; enhance individual, community, and public health; and advance research.

The updated federal health information technology (IT) strategic plan is an attempt to collect, share, and use interoperable health information to improve care; enhance individual, community, and public health; and advance research.

On Monday, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) released its 28-page Federal Health IT Strategic Plan 2015-2020, which was created through collaboration with 35 federal agencies. According to the plan, in addition to working toward more widespread health IT adoption, the government will begin efforts to include new sources of information and new ways to disseminate knowledge quickly, securely, and efficiently.

The Strategic Plan is also going to frame the Nationwide Interoperability Roadmap, which will be released in early 2015 and helps define the implementation of how the federal government and the private sector will share health information.

“The 2015 Strategic Plan provides the federal government a strategy to move beyond health care to improve health, use health IT beyond [electronic health records], and use policy and incentive levers beyond the incentive programs,” Karen B. DeSalvo, MD, MPH, national coordinator for health IT and acting assistant secretary for health, said in a statement. “The success of this plan is also dependent upon insights from public and private stakeholders and we encourage their comments.”

The plan is now open for 60-day comment period.

The updated Strategic Plan describes the government’s strategies to achieve 5 goals: expand adoption of health IT; advance secure and interoperable health information; strength healthcare delivery; advance the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities; and advance research, scientific knowledge, and innovation. Outcomes for these goals are broken into 3- and 6-year timeframes.

“The Federal Health IT Strategic Plan collectively represents specific goals and strategies for how interoperability will be leveraged to foster the technological advancement of health information exchange to improve quality of care for veterans while supporting patient-provider interaction,” Gail Graham, deputy secretary for health informatics and analytics at the Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration, Office of Health Information, said in a statement.