LETTER FROM THE NATIONAL COORDINATOR Over the past five years, our nation has experienced a remarkable transformation in the collection, sharing, and use of electronic health information. Updating the Federal Health IT Strategic Plan 2015- 2020 (Plan) has given us a chance to reflect on our health IT journey. When we released the prior Plan in 2011, adoption of health IT among hospitals and health care providers was in its nascent stages, Affordable Care Act implementation was commencing, and the use of mobile health applications, especially by consumers, were far from ubiquitous. Implementation of the prior Plan created a strong foundation for achieving this Plan’s goals and objectives. Over 400,000 eligible hospitals and professionals participate in the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Programs. This incredible achievement was not easy. Hospitals and health care providers have invested capital, time, and hard work to digitize their patient medical records. This has created a strong demand for the seamless sharing of information across technology systems, information platforms, location, provider, or other boundaries. There is also a strong interest among providers not participating in the EHR Incentive Programs to collect, share, and use interoperable health information. With this updated Plan, the federal government signals that, while we will continue to work towards more widespread adoption of health IT, efforts will begin to include new sources of information and ways to disseminate knowledge quickly, securely, and efficiently. The first two goals of this Plan prioritize increasing the electronic collection and sharing of health information while protecting individual privacy. The final three goals focus on federal efforts to create an environment where interoperable information is used by health care providers, public health entities, researchers, and individuals to improve health, health care, and reduce costs. This Plan aims to remain flexible to our evolving definitions of health and health care. We recognize that both traditional and nontraditional sources will engender valuable health information. Expectations for our information systems and users of these systems will increase. During the information age, innovation and technological advancements have been difficult to predict. This Plan accounts for how the federal government views our nation’s current landscape and articulates our values and priorities in shaping tomorrow’s landscape. I am incredibly grateful for the participation of over thirty-five federal entities who worked in concert to develop this Plan, demonstrating the widespread interest across the government to digitize the health experience for every American. Federal authorities and investments will seek to achieve this Plan’s strategies. However, this is a shared undertaking. Efforts of state, local, and tribal governments, and private stakeholders are vital to ensure that health information is accessible when and where it is needed to improve and protect people’s health and well-being. Karen DeSalvo, MD, MPH, MSc National Coordinator for Health Information Technology Federal Health IT Strategic Plan 2 | Page FEDERAL HEALTH IT VISION AND MISSION Vision Health information is accessible when and where it is needed to improve and protect people’s health and well-being Mission Improve health, health care, and reduce costs through the use of information and
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