New National Coordinator for Health IT Reorganizing ONC’s Working Groups
New ONC Director Karen DeSalvo wants to transition the agency’s current workgroups into newer, “less siloed” workgroups.
April 16, 2014 08:20 AM
At the April 8 meeting of the ONC’s Health IT Policy Committee, ONC Director Karen DeSalvo talked about ONC’s priorities moving beyond Meaningful Use – and in particular wanting to streamline the working group model to make them less siloed and more collaborative.
DeSalvo said, “We are pivoting to readjust to our smaller budgets and perhaps, over time, changes to the structure of our agency. We need to be very thoughtful about what are the core expectations from the American people about what we should focus on and do.”
ONC’s overarching priorities, DeSalvo said, would focus on the agency serving in more of a policy and coordinator function. She said that ONC will set a very high priority on health information exchange use and infrastructure, and will continue to work to reduce redundancy and reactive work in federal efforts.
There are currently 14 working groups as part of the ONC, though during the April 8 meeting, Dr. DeSalvo outlined four workgroups that would streamline ONC’s activities and focus on:
Health IT Strategic Planning
Advanced Health Models and Meaningful Use
Health IT Implementation, Usability and Safety
Interoperability and Health Information Exchange
Interoperability and HIE will continue to be the focus of one of the workgroups, as indicated above, but it is unclear whether they will keep the current workgroup members or open up slots for additional members.
Also of interest to home health and hospice health IT users are the Strategic Planning Group and a group that is focused on advanced care models.
The ONC accepts applications for their workgroups on a rolling basis using the nomination tool on their website, though are not accepting nominations at this time. NAHC and its affiliated Home Care Technology Association of America (HCTAA) urges its members to get involved in the ONC’s activities by participating in the public meetings of the various working groups.
To view a calendar of upcoming meetings, please click here.