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ONC drafts Federal Health IT Plan for 2024-2030, calls for public comment

by News7

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT has made available the draft of the 2024-2030 Federal Health IT Strategic Plan for public scrutiny and commentary.

WHY IT MATTERS

The plan, which extends through the rest of this decade, is organized around four key goals to improve the experiences and outcomes for health IT users – and the policy and technology aspects needed to support health IT and electronic health information users.  

The comment period is open for 60 days, with May 28 as the deadline for review and comments on the draft plan.

This draft plan puts an emphasis on the importance of an equitable integration of healthcare IT across public health sectors and highlights the significance of emerging technologies including artificial intelligence.

At its core, the draft plan delineates a series of goals, objectives, and strategies intended to guide federal endeavors in the realm of healthcare IT, with emphases on scientific innovation and revitalizing the nation’s public health infrastructure.

Central to its vision is the recognition of the pivotal role played by policy and technological advancements in ensuring the secure handling of diverse data requirements across all strata of health IT stakeholders.

Emphasis is placed on providing improved patient access to EHI across communities and improve education on patient-facing health IT capabilities, particularly through mobile devices, along with outreach efforts on the use of AI in healthcare. 

The report notes policies and tools should support the rapid and scalable reporting and utilization of public health data, and efforts should focus on developing, aligning, testing and implementing data standards to bolster interoperability across public health systems.

Other focuses are on the advancements in forecasting and predictive analytics to enable more efficient decision-making in response to outbreaks and emerging threats and on the enhancement of data linkages to provide health IT users with evidence-based information.

Additionally, the report said efforts should be made to bolster the data science capacity and capabilities of the public health workforce to ensure access to and effective utilization of EHI.

Once finalized, the 2024-2030 strategic blueprint will serve as a guide for federal agencies and empower them to streamline resource allocation, synchronize interagency efforts, convey priorities to private-sector partners and establish yardsticks for evaluating progress over time.

The evolution of IT and the ongoing wave of digitalization in healthcare – from internet-enabled medical devices to electronic health records – have fundamentally changed delivery and management of care.

The establishment of standardized protocols, exemplified by initiatives such as the United States Core Data for Interoperability (USCDI) and Health Level Seven International (HL7) Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR), has been a critical component of this digital evolution.

The ONC is also seeking input on its draft United States Core Data for Interoperability, Version 5, along with examples of code sets utilized by health IT developers and implementers, with comments accepted until April 15.

These standardized frameworks have revolutionized the accessibility, interoperability and utility of health information, cultivating a landscape where data exchange is not only feasible, but also efficient.

A recent survey found that more than 88% of hospitals now engage in electronic transmission and retrieval of patient health records.

Meanwhile, more than 60% of healthcare institutions have successfully integrated this information into their EHRs, thus streamlining clinical workflows and enhancing patient care.

ON THE RECORD

“The role of health IT and readily available access to health data have become increasingly essential to the administration of public health activities,” Jim Jirjis, director of CDC’s data policy and standards division, said in a statement.

“CDC appreciates how the draft 2024-2030 Federal Health IT Strategic Plan addresses the need to continue to advance the nation’s public health data infrastructure, while making sure that it is benefiting the communities that need it most.”

Nathan Eddy is a healthcare and technology freelancer based in Berlin.
Email the writer: [email protected]

Twitter: @dropdeaded209

Source : Healthcare IT News

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