Getting people more engaged in their own healthcare will require a broader use of healthcare IT, says the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC).
In a new initiative called Person at the Center, ONC will develop a policy framework to help strengthen the use of IT as a way to increase self-management and prevention, create a more seamless interaction with the healthcare system, and strive for a more shared management of healthcare.
The January issue brief authored by Jodi Daniel, JD, MPH, Mary Jo Deering, PhD, and Michelle Murray, MS, MBA, states: "Changing the paradigm to a more person-centered vision is vital to improving health and healthcare outcomes, particularly since the individual’s actions have a great impact on health outcomes. Important developments in health policy and practice emphasize the patient as key to improving outcomes and care: patient-centered care, the patient-centered medical home, health reform programs such as pioneer Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), and others. The emergence of health IT, including consumer eHealth tools, can enable achieving that vision."
ONC says a number of existing public and private sector programs and initiatives are already in place to achieve these goals, but it does foresee some challenges: "Changes in payment models and acceptance of technological advances will alter existing models of care. It is unknown if consumers and providers will fully embrace the resulting cultural shift. ONC is optimistic that stakeholders will rise to these challenges and will realize the vision for improved health outcomes."