Federal HIT Strategy

October 2, 2015
Policy Snapshot

The Federal Health IT Strategic Plan 2015 – 2020, was released last week and outlines the commitments of all the agencies that use or influence the use of health IT across the nation for the next five years. The Plan is an action plan for federal partners, as they work to expedite high-quality, accurate, secure, and relevant electronic health information for stakeholders across the nation. The Plan’s strategies for achieving this aim focus on making electronic information available so individuals can manage their health, providers can deliver high-quality care to their patients, public health entities and long-term services and supports can improve community health, and scientists and innovators can advance cutting-edge research and solutions.

The Plan includes four overarching goals:

  1. Advance Person-Centered and Self-Managed Health
  2. Transform Health Care Delivery and Community Health
  3. Foster Research, Scientific Knowledge, and Innovation
  4. Enhance Nation’s Health IT Infrastructure

While this Plan focuses on federal strategies, achieving this Plan's vision requires collaboration from private stakeholders and state, territorial, local, and tribal governments. Efforts across the ecosystem - by individuals, families, caregivers, health care entities and providers, public health entities, payers, technology developers, community-based nonprofit organizations, home-based supports, and academic institutions - are also essential.

Government action will be the main driver for certain strategies, and for others, federal action will either supplement existing stakeholder work or encourage additional activities to begin. The vision and goals articulated in this Plan are not exclusive to the federal government; their attainment will require collaborative engagement and commitment. The Plan seeks to illuminate issues where federal action will have less reach, and where state, territorial, regional, private, and individual actions will be more impactful.

Although this Plan has a broad scope, its implementation has a singular focus: improving the health and well-being of this nation through a resilient health IT infrastructure. Many strategies included in this Plan necessitate broad cultural changes. This Plan takes a holistic and long-range view of how the health IT infrastructure should evolve to advance person-centered health and wellness. Federal agencies will follow the Federal Health IT Principles described below during Plan implementation.

This Plan pursues a flexible, dynamic approach, and the federal government will make necessary adjustments if needed. Achieving the Plan's vision will require collective responsibility and prioritization, and the federal government will continue to engage with all interested stakeholders to ensure that people, organizations, and communities can best take advantage of electronic health information and the health IT infrastructure.