HIMSS comments on HHS Draft Strategic Plan

In a letter to Acting Assistant Secretary and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, John Graham, HIMSS provided our membership feedback to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Draft Strategic Plan FY 2018-2022

While the Strategic Plan covers the many topics areas that fall under the HHS portfolio, HIMSS focused its comments on how health information and technology should be prioritized, leveraged, and recognized as critical tools in the work of the entire Department.   In offering the HIMSS support of the strategic goal to reform, strengthen, and modernize the nation’s health care system, HIMSS supports the enablement of telehealth and mobile technologies to improve the quality of care, especially where it can work to reduce disparities in healthcare quality and safety in rural and underserved population.

HIMSS strongly recommends that, to successfully transform health systems, we must achieve seamless, effective and secure health information exchange practices worldwide. HIMSS notes that building blocks have been in place but asserts that we must achieve secure, appropriate, and ubiquitous data access and electronic exchange of health information and now is the time for bold action. For this bold action, HIMSS published our HIMSS Call to Action: Achieve Nationwide, Ubiquitous, Secure Electronic Exchange of Health and guiding principles to inform health policy and spur our nation’s health sector to action.

As stated in the Strategic Plan, HHS is looking to optimize information technology investments to improve process efficiency and enable innovation to advance program mission goals.  To this goal HIMSS welcomes the opportunity to work with HHS and health IT developers in promoting innovation and the importance of the development of technologies and products that not only focus on patient safety, but also the tackle the usability of those products from the provider and well as the consumer perspective. 

The full letter is available here.