“It is a welcome sign of our nation’s shift toward a more patient- and family-centered health care system that 49 public and private health care stakeholders have committed to helping consumers easily and securely access and use their electronic health information, per U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia Burwell’s announcement last night. HHS’ Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) showed great leadership in cultivating pledges from health industry leaders to implement three commitments that will move us toward a connected health care system: consumer access to electronic health information, no blocking of electronic health information, and national interoperability standards and policies for electronic health information exchange.
Given our long-standing advocacy for consumer access to electronic health information, the National Partnership pledged to support these commitments (read our letter here). We know that patients and family caregivers must be able to access and use their digital health information in meaningful ways to actively engage in their health and care, and that authentic patient and family engagement is paramount in transforming our health care system into one that delivers better care and better outcomes at lower cost. The promise of consumer access to and use of electronic health information cannot be realized without commitments from across the health care spectrum, and we are especially pleased to see that 17 health information technology vendors, 16 health care systems and 16 professional groups pledged their support. We look forward to continued collaboration with our public and private partners to ensure that the vision behind these commitments translates into action that benefits all patients and families.”