US HHS finalises 2020-2025 federal health IT strategic plan

The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published the final 2020-2025 Federal Health IT Strategic Plan. The plan outlines federal health information technology (IT) goals and objectives, focusing on individuals’ access to their electronic health record (EHR). The plan was developed by the HHS Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), in collaboration with more than 25 federal agencies, and informed by about 100 public comments. The federal agencies that partnered with the HHS regulate, purchase, develop, and use health IT to support in delivering care and improving patient health, while funding and contributing to health IT research, development, and deployment at local to national levels. The plan, therefore, serves as a roadmap for these initiatives and activities of the agencies. 

To support the access, exchange, and use of EHR, the plan put forward the following key principles:

  • Putting individuals first by focusing on person-centred care;
  • Focusing on value by promoting and purchasing activities that improve health and care quality;
  • Building a culture of secure access to health information;
  • Putting research into action;
  • Encouraging innovation and competition; and 
  • Being a responsible champion by developing health IT policies through open, transparent, and accountable processes.