ONC's Washington has some health IT advice for Trump

Vindell Washington
ONC's B. Vindell Washington said government regulations around health IT is complex because the country is complex.
B. Vindell Washington has some advice for the incoming Trump administration when it comes to coordinating health information technology programs on a national level: It’s more complicated than it looks. 

“One reason that healthcare and government regulations are complex is because we have a complex country,” Washington, head of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, told Healthcare Dive.

“There are differences in the way that healthcare is delivered in Sioux falls or Tulsa or San Diego or where I live in Baton Rouge," he added.

RELATED: 3 ways Trump admin could impact health IT regs

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Precision medicine, according to Washington, is the “next horizon” that the Trump administration should be looking toward as personalized care becomes increasingly important and more central to how healthcare is delivered in the country.     

In fact, precision medicine just got a big funding boost from the 21st Century Cures Act, which Barack Obama signed into law this week—although it’s unclear how the program and its $6.3 billion in funding, which is spread out over seven years, will fare under President-elect Donald Trump.

RELATED: Obama signs 21st Century Cures Act into law

The law also aims to support that complex web of health information technology goals, including promoting electronic health record interoperability, discouraging information-blocking and protecting data privacy and security.

In the Q&A interview with Healthcare Dive, Washington also addressed:

  • Common standards for information-sharing, such as continuity of care documents
  • The culture of technology adoption, especially among older generations of providers
  • Public-private partnerships to keep policy goals in mind and avoid a “stranglehold” of regulations that hamper creativity

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