Feds Set Sights on Increased Health IT Innovation
We’ve covered a lot of ground in our series on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology’s “Federal Health IT Strategic Plan 2015-2020.” We’ve gone over the scope of the plan and four of its tops goals: expanding the adoption of health IT, advancing the security and interoperability of health information, strengthening healthcare delivery, and advancing the health and well-being of individuals and communities. In this, our final post in the series, we’re going to take a look at the last big goal set by the government in the plan: advancing research, scientific knowledge, and innovation.
Healthcare IT is just the thing needed to open to the doors to a whole new level of analytics and research. That data can then be used to help providers and patients make more-informed and effective choices. But before an organization can truly benefit from that data, the infrastructure needs to be in place to not only allow them to do so, but to encourage them to as well.
Where to watch
The three key areas the government will be focusing on in its push to further knowledge and innovation are:
1) Increase access to and usability of high-quality electronic health information and services
The government wants to kick start a rush of new applications, products, services, and features all designed to improve healthcare. To do this, the Feds are publishing a host of new data and making it easier to access existing info – without risking privacy in the process. The hope is that all of that data will lead to inspiration and innovation. In addition to the freshly-released data, another part of the puzzle will be government-funded collaborative networks which researchers can use to create and share their work.
2) Accelerate the development and commercialization of innovative technologies and solutions
Funding innovative new products and solutions is high on the government’s to do list. While the government wants these new products and advances out quickly, again, there’s no skimping on security. To make all of that happen, Uncle Sam will put up the money to support ground-breaking and secure innovations and products, such as wearable tech and mobile apps. There will also be an effort made to better link health information, professionals and individuals through new technology like mobile and social networking platforms, and to do so safely.
3) Invest, disseminate, and translate research on how health IT can improve health and care delivery
Scholars can do all of the research they want, but it often takes a massive investment of time and energy to translate their findings into actionable improvements results. So the research is only the beginning. The Feds will be looking to help not only collect, but to analyze and interpret data for a number of purposes, including to measure all sides of the impact of healthcare IT. The government will also provide funding to explore, among other topics, how healthcare IT can support organization and management – and to prove the ways IT can be used to elevate the quality of care offered in various settings.
The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology is still accepting comments on the “Federal Health IT Strategic Plan 2015-2020” until February. After that, input will be considered, changes could be made and then the report will finalized.
All of this proposed investment in innovation and new technologies could make 2015 an even faster-paced year for IT than usual. Tasking your team with keeping up with these new opportunities in addition to their regular workload seems like a recipe for burnout. However, a partner such as Arraya Solutions can step in and take some lower-level tasks off your IT team’s plate, freeing them to focus on higher-value deliverables. To find out more about Arraya’s healthcare solutions, visit http://go.arrayasolutions.com/healthcare.html or speak with your Arraya Account Executive. Follow Arraya on Twitter @ArrayaSolutions