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Phase 5: Personal & Population Health

 

A Focus on Personal Health

Throughout its history, Connecting for Health has focused on connecting Americans to their personal health information and health-related services.

Phase 5 began in 2007. In June 2008, with support from more than 50 organizations, Markle released the Common Framework for Networked Personal Health Information, a set of policy and technology practices encourage appropriate handling of personal health information as it flows to and from personal health records (PHRs) and similar applications or services.

 

A Focus on Population Health

Since 2001, Connecting for Health has concentrated on articulating an architecture and policy framework for the secure sharing of health care information for clinical care purposes among authorized entities, typically health care organizations and professionals. We recognize that this clinical information infrastructure has equally important social value in supporting the nation’s goals of managing and improving health for the entire population. These population health objectives are realized in at least three distinct domains.

 

Looking Ahead: Strategic and Implementation Issues

Each of these requires authorized users to access information housed in many fragmented data sources. Accelerating the availability of digital health data creates new opportunities for protecting the public from pandemics and bio-terror and improving our processes for approval and reimbursement of drugs, devices, and research initiatives that can further the clinical evidence base.

At the same time, these opportunities may turn into liabilities if the policy and privacy implications are not addressed upfront. The potential to accelerate the use of HIT through population health applications depends upon finding legitimate and effective policy solutions to these concerns.

We have begun to look at both the strategic and implementation issues for achieving population health objectives. We are taking stock of the current landscape of population health, especially as it concerns technical, economic, public policy, and privacy aspects of the creation and examination of composite data. These deliberations, the views of our Steering Group members, and the Markle Common Framework have advanced our work to date.