Healthcare IT News: ONC, CDC want to fix the fragmented public health system COVID-19 exposed

“Under the Biden-Harris administration, the ONC and the CDC are focused on learning major public health lessons from the pandemic and moving forward rapidly to turn those lessons into action.”

“That was a major takeaway from a HIMSS21 session this week when National Coordinator for Health IT Micky Tripathi and Dr. Daniel Jernigan, acting deputy director for public health science and surveillance at CDC, took the stage via Zoom for a fireside chat with HIMSS CEO Hal Wolf and HIMSS Senior VP for Government Relations Tom Leary.”

“’The pandemic, though tragic and frustrating and still very much with us, has also done us the service of pressure testing our IT infrastructure in ways unimaginable just 18 months ago,’ Tripathi said.”

Unifying a fragmented system

“One lesson learned was that the United States needs a unified public health response system, which it very much does not have now.”

“‘Our public health system suffers from not really being a system, which is one of the challenges that we have,’ Tripathi said. ‘And it’s really a loosely cobbled constellation of systems fragmented in a number of different ways…”

“Additionally, public health needs to be integrated into the healthcare technology ecosystem.”

“’We spent billions of dollars to lay a foundation, the EHR systems across the country,’ Tripathi said. ‘We didn’t make corresponding investments in our public health systems to enable us to exploit in the modern age what our systems can offer in terms of information and functionality.'”

“During the pandemic, one area where this was especially obvious was around data reporting, Jernigan said.”

“’Reporting is one-way from clinicians and health care systems, and there’s little feedback,’ he said. ‘And so we need to connect public health to the healthcare ecosystem in the same way that providers, labs, pharmacies and others are connected…'” Read the full article here.

Source: ONC, CDC want to fix the fragmented public health system COVID-19 exposed – By Jonah Comstock, August 13, 2021. Healthcare IT News.

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