The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology at HHS has released an 80-page final version of its Federal Health Information Technology Strategic Plan for 2011-2015.
HHS releases final Health IT Strategic plan for 2011-15
The latest version replaces a draft put up for public comment in March.
One new wrinkle in the final document comes under the third of five major policy goals, to "Inspire Confidence and Trust in Health IT" by "protecting the privacy and security of healthcare information and ensuring the safe use of health technology."
The plan calls for an elaborate process involving entities outside of HHS and its Office for Civil Rights to "resolve federal policy direction" on a "first set of privacy and security issues by the end of 2011." The civil rights office oversees privacy and security enforcement under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 and has been the lead agency in drafting federal healthcare IT privacy and security rules.
To help with the policy work, the latest IT strategic plan calls for the creation of an "HHS Inter-Division Task Force" that will be charged with establishing policy direction.
ONC also will then gather "broader federal feedback through the Federal IT Task Force," a group formed by President Obama in February 2010 (PDF), and includes representatives from HHS, the departments of Defense, Veterans Affairs, Commerce, Agriculture, plus the Social Security Administration and the Office of Personnel Management.
In a posting today at the ONC's Health IT Buzz blog, lawyer Jodi Daniel, director of the Office of Policy and Planning at ONC, said, "One of the major areas being addressed through this process is pursuing policy changes that would afford individuals more meaningful choice as to whether their information may be exchanged electronically.
"ONC is also assessing technical solutions that could support more granular patient choice and data segmentation that could support a patient's choice to share only certain parts of their record during information exchange," said Daniel, whose office was charged with drafting the plan.
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