CHIME issues statement on Federal Health IT Strategic Plan 2015-2020
Statement from Charles Christian, CHIME Board of Trustees chair, and Russell Branzell, CHIME president and CEO
Information technology plays a central role in helping hospitals and other healthcare providers reach the Triple Aim — a better patient experience, improved population health and reduced per capita costs. The Federal Health IT Strategic Plan 2015-2020, released today by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, lays out some critical markers for achieving those goals.
We applaud ONC for taking on the herculean task of coordinating federal health IT initiatives across 35 federal agencies and for reaching out to the healthcare community for input on the strategic plan.
CHIME endorses the overarching goals of the strategic plan — advancing person-centered care, delivery system transformation and a focus on community health, fostering research, enhancing the nation’s IT infrastructure. We are also in full agreement with the mission statement: Improve the health and well-being of individuals and communities through the use of technology and health information that is accessible when and where it matters most.
We have made tremendous strides in improving adoption of health IT and electronic health records, however, to reach the Triple Aim, we must now focus on creating a truly interoperable IT network. That means having clearly defined and enforceable standards, among other things. ONC, in its draft Shared Nationwide Interoperability Roadmap, laid out a 10-year agenda for achieving an interoperable system. This should be a priority for all stakeholders. We cannot achieve the promise of population health and other advances in patient care without the ability to fully and securely exchange data. This includes not just data between providers, but also establishing a framework for accepting the growth in patient-generated data.
While the strategic plan is a good step in that direction, CHIME also believes that we must attend to such issues as patient identification and development of functional electronic clinical quality measures. Finally, we are encouraged to see in the plan a recognition of the role privacy and security will play in advancing interoperability and greater adoption of health IT.