CHIME, HIMSS, Cerner, Allscripts among health IT orgs jumping into precision medicine

A summit held on President Barack Obama's Precision Medicine Initiative on Thursday covered myriad aspects of the project, including a partnership between the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) and OpenNotes, as well as many health IT vendors announcing their support for the initiative.

Here's a breakdown of some of the HIT announcements to come out of the summit, all of which align with the initiative's goal of gathering health data from 1 million Americans:

  • CHIME partners with OpenNotes: The collaboration between providers organizations and the note-sharing initiative will improve patient engagement and patients' access to their health records, which is a big part of Obama's initiative, according to a CHIME announcement. "[T]o be true partners in their care, patients must have access not only to their basic health records, but the notes that clinicians make during appointments. This partnership with OpenNotes is a terrific opportunity to promote innovative change in medical practice designed to increase patient engagement," CHIME President and CEO Russell Branzell said.
  • Vendors join Sync for Science: The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT and the National Institutes of Health will work together on this part of the PMI. "Sync for Science" will involve pilots by electronic health record vendors that will use open, standardized applications to help patients better access and share their health data, according to an announcement from NIH. Cerner, Allscripts, athenahealth, Epic and others will participate, according to a White House fact sheet.
  • Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) to help patients access EHR data: As part of the PMI, the 20 Patient-Powered Research Networks that are part of PCORnet will help patients gain access to, and share, the data in their EHRs with researchers, according to an announcement. "Their efforts will build toward a future in which an interface for exchanging EHR data based on Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources will be widely available," the announcement added.
  • HIMSS pledges support: The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society said in an announcement it will engage and educate the health IT community in support of PMI. "HIMSS pledges to engage over 60,000 health IT stakeholders ... at HIMSS16, the Connected Health Conference and our other national, regional, chapter-level, and virtual education events to advance precision medicine," the organization said.

Such announcements and initiatives may help light a fire under the provider community to get more involved with precision medicine. Currently, 59 percent of hospitals and health systems responding to a survey by Health Catalyst said they do not see it being a key goal in the next five years. However, 71 percent of academic medical centers said it will play a significant role for them in the coming years.

To learn more:
- here's the CHIME announcement
- check out the White House's fact sheet
- read the NIH's announcement
- here's the Cerner pledge
- check out the Allscripts announcement
- read the HIMSS post
- here's PCORI's pledge