ONC seeks feedback on health IT strategic plan


David Blumenthal, National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (photo by ONC)

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology wants to know what you think about its four-year strategic plan for health IT.

The plan isn’t entirely new but rather updates an earlier version ONC released in June 2008. The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act requires ONC to revise and republish that plan. ONC will accept public comments through April 22.

“The adoption and meaningful use of EHRs is the unifying focal point of our strategy,” said National Coordinator for Health IT David Blumenthal. “However, meaningful use is necessary, but not sufficient, to harness the power of health IT to transform health care over the next five years. For instance, we must continue to be attentive to implementing and enforcing privacy and security protections.”

While most of the plan reiterates well-known health IT topics like the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record Program, Blumenthal highlights new aspects of the plan:

1. The health information exchange strategy in Goal I focuses on first fostering exchange that is already happening today, supporting exchange where it is not taking place, and creating means for exchange between local initiatives.

2. Goal IV recognizes the importance of engaging and empowering individuals with electronic health information in order to move to patient-centered care, and proposes strategies for doing so.

3. In Goal V, we develop a clear vision and path forward for building a “learning health system,” work that will become increasingly prominent over the next several years.


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