The Office of the National Health IT Coordinator released the Federal Health IT Strategic Plan for 2024-2030, providing a roadmap for the future. The plan envisions that technology and health information will significantly improve the well-being of individuals and communities. This aligns with the healthcare CIO's core mission of leveraging technology to engage individuals, reduce costs, deliver quality care, and improve population health. This plan is structured around his four main goals and sets a clear direction for future healthcare IT efforts. Is this enough to advance the industry in the future?

Promoting health and wellness

This strategic plan strongly emphasizes strengthening personal health management, enhancing care delivery and experience, and accelerating research and innovation. Most healthcare provider organizations in the United States have implemented electronic health records systems, according to a recent report from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology. Every provider organization has a patient portal that allows individuals to easily manage their health, so this is the starting point.

As the healthcare industry moves toward digitalization, achieving interoperability between different systems continues to be a challenge. EMR vendors have been successful in ensuring interoperability within organizations that use the same systems. However, this issue has been a consistent barrier in previous strategic planning.

Strengthening care delivery

As healthcare provider organizations aim to facilitate easier access to care in the digital age, enhancing care delivery and experience is critical. Patients now expect seamless and efficient interactions with their healthcare providers through technology such as virtual care, two-way messaging, and self-service scheduling capabilities. We aim to exceed these expectations by implementing intuitive technology that streamlines processes and improves outcomes and satisfaction for patients and providers.

This plan recognizes the role technology plays in empowering patients and communities and reaffirms our commitment to leveraging IT to promote health and wellness. However, the digital divide and disparities in access to technology and literacy hinder the reach and impact of these efforts. Addressing these disparities is critical to equitably distributing the benefits of health IT and ensuring everyone has the tools and knowledge they need to manage their health. There is a great need for health education, especially among people who are in poor health and require extensive care. Despite the importance of preventive care, which relies heavily on education, healthcare provider organizations currently receive limited reimbursement for such services.

Accelerating research and innovation

This goal emphasizes the need for researchers and health IT users to proactively access health data to foster improvements in individual and population health. Health IT prioritizes strengthening research and analysis at both the individual and population levels. In particular, including data from underrepresented groups in research efforts is an important strategy to actively advance health equity. This goal highlights the goal of using health IT to achieve more comprehensive health improvements and research outcomes, and demonstrates a commitment to leveraging technology for the betterment of all.

Connect your health data

This goal is to ensure that regulatory constraints, privacy concerns, and technical limitations of current health IT infrastructure do not impede the pace of innovation by creating policies and policies that meet the diverse data needs of health IT users. It emphasizes the importance of developing technology components.

The draft federal health IT strategy for 2024-2030 envisions health IT as a catalyst for significant improvements in health care and highlights areas that need more focus. Addressing these challenges emphasizes the importance of collaboration among federal agencies, health care providers, technology companies, and patient advocacy groups. A 60-day comment period through May 28, 2024 provides an opportunity for feedback to enrich the plan with new initiatives and requirements aimed at accelerating the advancement of health IT.

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