HIMSS Delivers Recommendations for Strengthening Primary Healthcare through U.S. Government

Doctor in white lab coat speaking with patient

HIMSS called for improved healthcare access, equity and outcomes in a letter to the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health (OASH).

HIMSS submitted a letter Aug. 1 in response to a Request for Information (RFI) on the HHS Initiative to Strengthen Primary Health Care. The RFI solicited input on what the federal government could do to strengthen primary healthcare, a top priority for the Biden-Harris Administration

HIMSS proposed HHS take the following actions: 

  1. Primary care settings should address the social determinants of health (SDOH) by collecting, exchanging and reporting SDOH data
  2. Support programs that fund personal health navigators to help underserved communities understand and access benefits that will improve their health status, and overcome SDOH-associated challenges
  3. Ensure availability of, and access to, health services research tailored to primary care settings
  4. Explore data visualization as a tool in Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems for primary care providers to rapidly identify trends, provide actionable insights into gaps in care and reduce provider burden
  5. Ensure telehealth and remote patient monitoring services are available in primary care settings, particularly those in rural and urban settings
  6. Continue collaboration among agencies to construct a plan for improving broadband service in underserved areas
  7. Educate clinical staff on a standardized approach for, and the value of, information sharing between facilities
  8. Continue to create resources for primary care providers and local organizations to distribute to patients and communities to improve health literacy and digital health literacy
  9. Leverage HIMSS’s internationally recognized digital health tools, our maturity models and Digital Health Indicator as frameworks for achieving highly successful patient encounters

HIMSS appreciated this opportunity to highlight the role of digital health as the federal government aims to advance primary healthcare services and HIMSS is committed to continue being a valuable resource to this administration.

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