Leaders from from HHS, CMS, NIH, DHA discuss Federal Health IT’s Top Investment Areas

“Federal health IT leaders are focusing on data, security, emerging technologies and human-centered design as some of their top priorities in the near term.”

“At AFCEA Bethesda’s CXO & HHS Health IT Day this week, CIOs from the departments of Veterans Affairs and Health and Human Services, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, National Institutes of Health and Defense Health Agency, as well as other agency leaders, shared their best practices and technological areas of investment they see as helping meet their agencies’ missions.”

Data

“Data is a huge boon for many agencies, especially HHS. CIO Perryn Ashmore highlighted that especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic, data has been the backbone of the understanding and decision-making around the public health response.”

“’We are hosting [HHS subagencies’] data and sharing it back with them and back with other components across the federal government, to our state and local partners, to the jurisdictions, whether that data is from the state with hospitalization and cases, and now of course with vaccinations,’ Ashmore said…”

Security

“Federal health agencies are stewards of American medical information and critical networks that have kept the federal response to the pandemic going, making HHS and other agencies vulnerable to cyberattacks. In light of these threats, and other recent attack revelations like the SolarWinds hack, agencies are prioritizing security as a top investment area, Ashmore said, especially with methods like zero trust.”

CMS CIO Rajiv Uppal spoke about the security he’s building into the agency’s systems amid heightened concerns around cybersecurity, as well as the importance of having a DevSecOps model…”

Emerging Tech

“Technologies on the rise like artificial intelligence and wearables are areas of investment for HHS and VA. Amid the data-driven initiatives that HHS is taking on, especially in terms of science and research, AI is a critical tool.”

“’The science and research questions we’re solving are really, really hard, and I think that’s where AI comes in,’ Duvall said. ‘Self-driving cars have to have AI because of the complexity of making decisions on a second-by-second basis about what to do. That technology, applied to the mission space within NIH, I think it’s the future of health for the world…'”

Workforce and Human-Centered Design

“Soft skills with people are underlying key areas that federal health officials are focused on, including human-centered design, investing in the IT workforce and collaborations.”

“Uppal, a long advocate of human-centered design, spoke about the need to not only develop and introduce new IT tools, but also to spend time training employees in using them…” Read the full article here.

Source: Here are Federal Health IT’s Top Investment Areas – By Melissa Harris, March 5, 2021. GovernmentCIO.

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