Wednesday, June 4, 2008

ONC Releases Strategic Plan

On June 3, 2008, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology released the Federal Health IT Strategic Plan 2008-2012 to advance HIT. The ONC coordinated plan identifies the federal activities needed to implement the technology infrastructure in both the public and private sectors.

The two primary goals are to help Patient Focused Health Care and Population Health. The first goal envisions a transformation to higher quality, more cost efficient care, and meeting patients needs with electronic health information. The second goal relates to population health, and envisions the appropriate use of electronic health information to benefit public health, biomedical research, quality improvement, and emergency preparedness.

Objectives, strategies, and milestones have been established for each goal. They portray the totality of what must be done across the federal government to address privacy and security, achieve an interoperable health IT architecture, accelerate IT adoption, and foster collaborative governance.

The strategic plan describes 43 strategies needed to achieve each objective. Each strategy is associated with a milestone against which progress can be assessed plus a set of illustrative actions to implement each strategy.

The ONC worked with 12 agencies and staff divisions within HHS, and also with the Departments of Commerce, Defense, and Veterans Affairs, and the FCC. Two federal advisory bodies such as the National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics and AHIC also contributed to some of the strategies and milestones as cited in the plan.

To see the full report and the synopsis, go to