HIMSS provides public policy and guidance on the core investment strategies that support health system transformation and public health data modernization based on lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic.
This guidance builds upon strategic goals outlined in the 2020 HIMSS COVID-19 Global Policy Call to Action and emphasizes the public policy and business processes that must transform in order to securely transmit bi-directional reports electronically to public health agencies, healthcare facilities and health data exchanges in the U.S.
As recommended in the HHS Report Public Health 3.0: A Call to Action to Create a 21st Century Public Health Infrastructure, we need to develop timely, locally relevant health information systems across state, territorial, local and tribal (STLT) governmental health agencies. Currently STLTs rely on outdated data, merged across years to improve sample size and not actionable at the neighborhood level.
HIMSS calls on Congress and the Department of Health and Human Services to provide the necessary interoperable technology (hardware and software) to receive public health data (as defined by the Promoting Interoperability Program) and other data required to perform critical public health tasks (contact tracing) from health systems.
STLTs must be equipped to analyze and share electronically transmissible visualized data and insights with eligible hospitals. Suppose we do not have the infrastructure to receive and analyze the data that the federal government requires public health authorities and healthcare systems to collect and report. In that case, we lose any value that could be gained from core lessons learned from the COVID-19 response and data collection.