On April 27, 2004, President Bush signed Government Purchase (EO) 13335 and developed the Office environment of the Countrywide Coordinator for Health IT (ONC). Like tapping that 1st domino, this solitary motion is a essential second in United States health IT record. Just about two decades later on, US policy and technological innovation leadership in health IT is world-renowned.
Through this time, ONC has remained legitimate to the four unique responsibilities cast by EO 13335 (paraphrased):
- serve as the Secretary’s principal advisor on the improvement, software, and use of health IT
- guarantee that health information technology coverage and packages of the Department of Health and Human Expert services (HHS) are coordinated with these of relevant government branch organizations
- coordinate outreach and session with community and non-public events and
- present reviews and information on health IT at the ask for of the Place of work of Administration and Spending budget.
The past 18 a long time has viewed its share of exceptional, sector-going events, such as the passage of the HITECH Act (2009) and 21st Century Cures Act (2016) as effectively as main digital health report (EHR) investments by HHS and the procurement of a business EHR method (ONC-certified, I could possibly incorporate) by the Departments of Protection and Veterans Affairs. Incorporate in substantial financial investments from the general public and personal sectors as well as a considerable amount of “sweat equity” from supplier businesses and technology builders and you can see why more than 90 p.c of hospitals and nearly the same total of doctor methods now use EHR techniques. This dramatic adjust in what is arguably the most intricate sector of our economic climate is a mammoth accomplishment.
Amidst these and other marquee moments, a couple of hundred past and existing staff have come by way of ONCs ranks with a straightforward reason in intellect – to make the nation’s health superior by way of the use of health IT. And that’s what keeps us going. Having started at ONC soon after its first birthday, there have undoubtedly been months and many years where the headwinds felt strong. But we persevered. Even though there is no shortage of do the job to be carried out, it is also vital to get inventory of how far we’ve occur. That’s a testament to all of the national coordinators (with whom I’ve experienced the privilege to provide) and the remarkable continuity they’ve provided across administrations.
Thank you to absolutely everyone out there who has ever submitted a general public remark, participated in an advisory committee, attended an ONC party, or supported an ONC job. We know if we invited you all, it would be just one heck of a get together!
As we celebrate our 18th birthday, it is with a continued feeling of delight, patriotism, and optimism about the potential of health.