DeSalvo Suggests Re-Working Health IT Policy Workgroups

April 11, 2014 in News

During a meeting this week, National Coordinator for Health IT Karen DeSalvo proposed a new workgroup structure for the Health IT Policy Committee, FierceHealthIT reports (Bowman, FierceHealthIT, 4/10).

She said, “It’s really important that we enhance not just the form but the communication of all these work groups so we’re reducing redundancy and the potential for reactive work,” adding, “We want to be as strategic and forward thinking as possible.”

Details of Proposal

The four restructured workgroups would focus on:

  • Advanced health models and meaningful use;
  • Implementation, usability and safety for health IT;
  • Interoperability and health information exchange; and
  • Strategic planning for health IT.

DeSalvo noted that issues of privacy, security and consumer engagement fall into each of the workgroups (Walsh, Clinical Innovation Technology, 4/10).

A draft of the plan is expected to be available for public comment in July (Manos, Healthcare IT News, 4/10).

Committee Comments

DeSalvo said, “This seems like a good time to make some form and function adjustments to the policy committee and the workgroups. 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” (FierceHealthIT, 4/10).

According to Healthcare IT News, committee members agreed with DeSalvo’s suggestions.

Committee Vice-Chair Paul Tang called DeSalvo’s proposal “very valid and timely,” adding, “Now that we’ve finished wrapping up our comments and advice on Stage 3, we will begin to look a lot toward how we are getting the value from meaningful use” (Healthcare IT News, 4/10).

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