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EHR Association Provides Feedback on Federal HIT Strategic Plan

The EHR Association recently shared its feedback on the Draft 2024-2030 Federal Health IT Strategic Plan, commending Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology’s (ONC) efforts to enhance individual and community health through improved health care experiences, advanced research and innovation, and integrated health data systems. It also notes its support for the plan’s goal of enhancing care delivery through improved interoperability and the adoption of national standards and reaffirmed its commitment to collaborating with ONC as it continues defining the Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement (TEFCA), including working to align other data-sharing networks with TEFCA to minimize and align frameworks at the national level.

In terms of privacy and security, the EHR Association encourages ONC to take a collaborative approach to protecting patients’ EHR and to establish guidelines that “balance innovation with risk management, emphasizing transparency and nondiscrimination.”

In addition to citing its support of the plan’s approach to providing guidance and resources to help health care organizations integrate high impact cybersecurity practices, the EHR Association suggests that “it is critical to modernize data protection laws to extend HIPAA-like protections to all entities holding identifiable health data, regardless of their current regulation under HIPAA. Additionally, the EHR Association supports simplifying consent processes and aligning local privacy rules to reduce the complexity and inconsistency currently challenging data stewards and patients. This includes creating clear criteria for informed consent and setting boundaries for the permissible use of health information.”

Additional feedback includes the EHR Association’s:

• support for the active involvement of all stakeholders in patient safety initiatives;

• commitment to enhancing patient safety through standards-based product design, collaborative health IT-related patient safety event analysis, and sharing best practices for the deployment and maintenance of health IT;

• support for the plan’s emphasis on increasing health equity across all populations by advancing the use of data to represent social needs and the conditions in which people live, learn, work, and play;

• recommendation for an approach to capturing social determinants that standardizes high-level domains and is flexible in how individual organizations assess risk; and

• continued support for policies to expand access to quality care and reduce or eliminate health disparities.

The full letter can be accessed here.

Source: EHR Association