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It's time again for ONC's Annual Meeting. The goal: to achieve better care, smarter spending, and healthier people.

2016 Health IT Focus: The Future of Patient-Centered Health

It’s that time again. The cherry blossoms having peaked, the DC metropolitan area is counting down the days until the 17-year Cicadas pop their beady, red eyes out of the ground, and the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) is hosting their Annual Meeting. This meeting provides an opportunity for an expansive array of public and private sector partners to review and discuss ways to leverage health IT. The goal: to achieve better care, smarter spending, and healthier people. 

New for 2016: the Annual Meeting will be held over three event-packed days. An entire day will focus on patient-centered health, tools, and data. Patient-centered data is aimed at opening doors for more individualized care, giving the patient say in their healthcare. This is where patients’ input will become an important part of Big Data collection. This will also have significant contribution to advancing medical research. Collecting real-world data, rather than gathering it through randomized trials, will greatly aid researchers and physicians alike in better understanding factors affecting healthcare experience, treatment and health outcome.

The HIMSS Interoperability Showcase™, at HIMSS16 (Las Vegas, NV), displayed interoperability in the real-world setting and explored health information exchange, healthcare API's, HL7 FHIR® services, and telehealth resources. To conform to interoperability, many organizations have pledged a commitment to provide patients the ability to: (1) easily and securely access electronic heath records, (2) easily sharing patient health information between care facilities, and (3) adhere to, and adopt, the federally recognized, national interoperability standards, policies, guidance, and practices. One example of a scenario include the annual health check-up leading to a follow-up specialist appointment, who then needs the patients complete medical history!

Achieving the interoperability goal will become a possibility with a strong and flexible health IT ecosystem. In the past decade we have already seen tremendous progress in building the foundations for a nationwide health IT network. It's time now, over the next decade, to build a fully interoperable infrastructure, one where communications between patients, doctors, nurses, midwives, allied health professionals and other health care professionals is streamlined into an interconnecting health information ecosystem.

More information on ONC’s interoperability road map click here.