The Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology today released a final “roadmap” for achieving a national health IT infrastructure that facilitates the secure exchange and use of electronic health information by 2024. The plan, which ONC called a “living document” that will evolve as technology and policy require, focuses in the next two years on government and private-sector actions to increase the nation’s ability to “send, receive, find and use priority data elements to improve health and health care quality.” Subsequent actions focus on expanding interoperability and enabling a learning health system. AHA President and CEO Rick Pollack said, “We appreciate the Administration’s recognition of health information exchange as a cornerstone of the health care system of the future, as outlined in the final interoperability roadmap. Progress will take combined efforts from all stakeholders, including vendors and providers. We look forward to working with the Department of Health and Human Services to create a policy environment that supports these efforts and accelerates the transition to the health care system of the future.” Meanwhile, the AHA today released a new report about the importance of interoperability and why it is vital to care coordination, patient engagement and population health. The report also outlines a number of challenges and policy questions for health care stakeholders to consider as they work to improve interoperability.
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