Health equity and social determinants of health (SDOH) data were a recurring theme at this year’s ONC Annual Meeting. Leveraging these important data, which reflect where people are born, live, learn, work and play can have a significant impact on patient care and public health. SDOH data provide opportunities for promoting health equity and improving patient outcomes if they are better integrated into the electronic health record (EHR).
News & Updates
Today, ONC is pleased to announce two demonstration sites selected for Sync for Genes Phase 4. Since its launch in 2017, the ONC Sync for Genes project has advanced the standardized sharing of genomic information between laboratories, providers, patients, and researchers. Sync for Genes uses the Health Level 7 (HL7®) International FHIR® standard to enable the electronic sharing of genomic data.
Precision medicine creates treatment and prevention strategies that meet patient needs by considering individual variability in their genome, environment, and lifestyle. While precision medicine can revolutionize health care, it requires access to an unprecedented volume and variety of data, and an infrastructure that rapidly brings new discoveries to bear. Recently, we published an article in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association that describes health IT’s vital role in precision medicine based on key insights from a series of ONC projects supporting the Precision Medicine Initiative.
ONC’s newly appointed national coordinator Micky Tripathi introduced the 2021 ONC Annual Meeting by sharing his vision for the future of health IT strategy and policy throughout the healthcare system. He talked about the agency’s role in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, striving for health equity through the use of health IT (he calls it “equity by design”), advancing interoperability of health information, and reducing the burden of health IT on clinicians.
Enacted by Congress over four years ago through Section 4004 of the 21st Century Cures Act (Cures Act) and implemented through a final rule released over one year ago, the time has come for the benefits of the Cures Act’s information blocking provision to swing into full gear.