ONC releases Health IT Strategic Plan

Photo: Al David Sacks/Getty Images

A new draft 2024–2030 Federal Health IT Strategic Plan has been released by the Department of Health and Human Services through the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), which outlines federal health IT goals that are focused on improving access to health data.

It also outlines goals on improving equity in healthcare and modernizing the country’s public health data infrastructure.

According to ONC, the draft plan places an emphasis on the policy and technology components necessary to support the diverse data needs of health IT users. It also supports the department’s recent Health Data, Technology, and Interoperability: Certification Program Updates, Algorithm Transparency, and Information Sharing (HTI-1) final rule to advance the access, exchange and use of electronic health information (EHI).

It also aligns with the HHS Health Care Sector Cybersecurity concept paper and voluntary healthcare-specific Cybersecurity Performance Goals (CPGs), geared to help healthcare organizations prioritize implementation of high-impact cybersecurity practices.


Thanks in part to the development of common standards, such as the United States Core Data for Interoperability (USCDI) and Health Level Seven International (HL7) Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR), health information has become more accessible and useful, said ONC. 

Recent data shows that more than 88% of hospitals report electronically sending and obtaining patient health information and more than 60% report integrating that information into their electronic health records.

The draft plan emphasizes that all populations in the U.S. can and should benefit from health IT, expanding to include additional sectors, such as public health, and addressing how technologies, such as artificial intelligence, affect healthcare.

“As part of our statutory duty to align and coordinate health IT efforts with our federal partners, ONC collaborated on the draft Plan with more than 25 federal agencies,” said Dr. Micky Tripathi, national coordinator for health information technology. “These agencies regulate, purchase, develop, and use health IT to deliver care and improve health outcomes, and they increasingly rely on the access, exchange, and use of EHI to effectively execute their missions.”


“The role of health IT and readily available access to health data have become increasingly essential to the administration of public health activities,” said Jim Jirjis, director of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Data Policy and Standards Division. “CDC appreciates how the draft 2024-2030 Federal Health IT Strategic Plan addresses the need to continue to advance the nation’s public health data infrastructure, while making sure that it is benefiting the communities that need it most.”

“As the VA modernizes its electronic health record system, the draft 2024-2030 Federal Health IT Strategic Plan provides direction towards a seamless healthcare experience that helps patients and providers benefit from a connected health system,” said Meg Marshall, director of Informatics Regulatory Affairs at the Veterans Health Administration. “Not only that, the draft Federal Health IT Strategic Plan serves as an actionable roadmap for the federal government to align and coordinate health IT efforts in a transparent and accountable manner. We are looking for public comment about ways to improve health through health IT, so that veterans too can benefit from the goals of a coordinated federal health IT strategy.”

Jeff Lagasse is editor of Healthcare Finance News.
Email: [email protected]
Healthcare Finance News is a HIMSS Media publication.


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