HHS is planning to make $60 million in stimulus funds available to support health information technology research projects, David Blumenthal, head of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology at HHS, announced.
The funds for the projects, made available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, will specifically support Strategic Health IT Advanced Research Projects, or SHARP, which will study areas where breakthrough advances are needed to address existing barriers to the adoption and meaningful use of health IT, according to an HHS news release.
SHARP will encompass four areas: the challenges of developing security and risk mitigation policies and the technologies necessary to build and preserve the public trust as health IT systems become more widespread; harnessing health IT in a patient-focused manner and aligning the technology with the day-to-day practice of medicine to support providers as they care for patients; improving ways to achieve electronic exchange and use of health information in a secure, private and accurate manner; and identifying strategies to enhance the use of health IT to improve quality of care while protecting patient privacy.
To support research efforts in these four areas, HHS expects to award cooperative agreements to qualified applicants. Each agreement will last four years.
The ONC will be hosting a technical assistance teleconference on SHARP Dec. 22 from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. ET.