IT included in Sebelius' top priorities for HHS

Report includes health IT elements for reform, public health

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today included several health information technology elements as part of her department’s nine top strategic priorities. They are in a new report.

For example, as part of its drive to implement health reform, HHS will work to “encourage widespread adoption and meaningful use of health information technology while ensuring the privacy and security of electronic health records,” the report said.

HHS also will promote electronic health record adoption as it implements the economic stimulus law, another of the nine strategic priorities.

Sebelius outlined the nine departmental priorities and four interagency efforts in a report released today, titled “The Secretary’s Strategic Initiatives and Key Interagency Collaborations.”

Other programs that involve IT include fostering open government, improving food safety and launching a departmentwide anti-fraud program.

Under the economic stimulus law, HHS will make investments in health IT and in biomedical research and patient-centered health research. It also will track results of the economic stimulus spending and report those results to the public.

For public health, HHS released its National Health Security Strategy in January, which includes emphasis on increasing the health IT workforce; improving information sharing and situational awareness of public health emergencies; and ensuring communication between health officials and first responders.

For its priority of improving research, the report said HHS will facilitate “fast-tracking of medical innovations” through cross-agency initiatives and creating partnerships that help academic researchers more quickly turn their research into treatments.

HHS also will support patient-centered research and improve dissemination of health information to the public.

For improved food safety, the department seeks to improve data collection and analysis by working with federal, state, local and public health partners.

To implement the White House’s open-government goals, HHS has developed an open-government plan as well as two coordinating bodies, the HHS’ Innovation Council and the HHS Data Council.

The innovation council will oversee all collaborative efforts of the plan, and the data committee will oversee data collection and analysis.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

FCW in Print

In the latest issue: Looking back on three decades of big stories in federal IT.


  • Anne Rung -- Commerce Department Photo

    Exit interview with Anne Rung

    The government's departing top acquisition official said she leaves behind a solid foundation on which to build more effective and efficient federal IT.

  • Charles Phalen

    Administration appoints first head of NBIB

    The National Background Investigations Bureau announced the appointment of its first director as the agency prepares to take over processing government background checks.

  • Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.)

    Senator: Rigid hiring process pushes millennials from federal work

    Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) said agencies are missing out on younger workers because of the government's rigidity, particularly its protracted hiring process.

  • FCW @ 30 GPS

    FCW @ 30

    Since 1987, FCW has covered it all -- the major contracts, the disruptive technologies, the picayune scandals and the many, many people who make federal IT function. Here's a look back at six of the most significant stories.

  • Shutterstock image.

    A 'minibus' appropriations package could be in the cards

    A short-term funding bill is expected by Sept. 30 to keep the federal government operating through early December, but after that the options get more complicated.

  • Defense Secretary Ash Carter speaks at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco

    DOD launches new tech hub in Austin

    The DOD is opening a new Defense Innovation Unit Experimental office in Austin, Texas, while Congress debates legislation that could defund DIUx.

Reader comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group