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Health IT Journey - Stories from the Road


HITECH Programs

ONC HITECH programs help facilitate widespread use of EHRs and health information exchange. Learn more

Certification Programs

Certification programs help assure EHR systems meet meaningful use criteria for health information exchange. Learn more

Privacy and Security

HHS announces new proposed protections for patient privacy and security related to health information exchange. Learn more

Meaningful Use

Secretary Sebelius announces final rules to support meaningful use of electronic health records. Learn more

Health IT Policy Committee

This committee recommends policies to develop and adopt a national health information infrastructure. Learn more

Health IT Standards Committee

This committee recommends standards, specifications, and certification criteria for health information exchange. Learn more


New Privacy and Security Rule
On July XX, ONC will announce new rules to increase the privacy and security of electronic health information exchange. View press release for more information.

15 Beacon Communities Announced
Image of Vice President Biden and Secretary SebeilusOn May 4, Vice President Biden and Secretary Sebelius announced the awarding of $220 million to 15 Beacon Communities across the U.S. The Beacon Communities will create model programs to demonstrate widespread adoption of health IT and health information exchange to improve the delivery of care for all Americans. An additional $30.3 M is currently available.  View Beacon funding opportunity announcement (FOA).
HHS Announces $267 Million for New Health IT Regional Extension Centers
Image of Secretary Sebelius speaking at a podium
Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced on April 6th that more than $267 million was awarded to 28 additional non-profit organizations to establish Health IT Regional Extension Centers (RECs). The Recovery Act investment will help grow the emerging health IT industry which is expected to support tens of thousands of jobs.
Dr. Blumenthal's Keynote Address at HIMSS10
Image of Dr. David Blumenthal with a
  Watch the Keynote Address on YouTube

As a practicing primary care physician and leading national health care policy expert, Dr. Blumenthal shared his thoughts about ONC’s strategic efforts to advance the rapid adoption and meaningful use of health IT at HIMSS10.

Why Health IT?

Health information technology (health IT) makes it possible for health care providers to better manage patient care through secure use and sharing of health information. Health IT includes the use of electronic health records (EHRs) instead of paper medical records to maintain people's health information.

Improving Patient Care

With the help of health IT, doctors will have:

  • Accurate and complete information about a patient's health. That way they can give the best possible care, whether during a routine visit or a medical emergency.
  • The ability to better coordinate the care they give. This is especially important if a patient has a serious medical condition.
  • A way to securely share information with patients and their family caregivers over the Internet, for patients who opt for this convenience. This means patients and their families can more fully take part in decisions about their health care.
  • Information to help doctors diagnose health problems sooner, reduce medical errors, and provide safer care at lower costs.

Improving Our Nation's Health Care System

Widespread use of health IT can also:

  • Make our health care system more efficient and reduce paperwork for patients and doctors.
  • Expand access to affordable care.
  • Build a healthier future for our nation.

What's New

  • How to Apply for Temporary Certification

    The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) has created a temporary certification program to offer organizations a way to become authorized to test and certify electronic health record technology. To find out how to apply, view Temporary Certification Program.

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  • Funding Opportunity Announcement

    An additional $30.3 million is still available to fund two communities through the Beacon Community Cooperative Agreement Program. View Beacon funding opportunity announcement (FOA).

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  • FACA Update

    On June 29, the HIT Policy Committee's Privacy and Security Tiger Team will hold a public hearing to discuss consumer choice technology currently used in health information exchange and the opportunities for future development in this area. View details about the hearing by visiting the Federal Advisory Committee Blog.

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  • Health IT Journey

    The White River Rural Health Center adopts electronic health records (EHRs) to improve the quality of patient care and increase efficiencies across its departments in Augusta, Arkansas. Learn how EHRs helped the center breakthrough roadblocks by visiting the Health IT Journey blog.

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