Person @ Center: Envisioning the Health IT-Enabled Future of Health from the Person’s Perspective

Jodi G. Daniel, J.D., M.P.H. | January 10, 2014

When I started at ONC nearly a decade ago, there was a lot of talk about “patient-centered care” and how health IT supports this view.  Most of the comments I heard throughout the health care and health IT space were about having the health care provider obtain a more complete view of the patient.  I was struck by the “provider-centric” thinking around patient care. 

A few of us at ONC started pushing to broaden this thinking.  We helped develop a consumer e-health program that would help to focus efforts to improve patient access to their own health data held by providers and others, an important step in patient empowerment. We also saw a need and an opportunity to consider how other information and tools could impact patients’ health, health care, and the role of individuals and caregivers in both. Since then, ONC and other organizations have come a long way in supporting consumer engagement in health. But a lot of work remains.

A little over a year ago, we embarked on an effort to look to a long term future, where health IT and communications technology could support people in managing their own health and partnering in their health care. We engaged visionaries and subject matter experts to help us develop a policy framework for putting the person more at the center of their own health and health care, enabled by health IT.  We wanted to set aspirational goals and some milestones along the way so that federal and private actors can all move toward the same end.

As we continue to work on this effort, we want to put forward some of these ideas for additional input.  We recently posted a Person @ Center Issue Brief and a web page, which share some of the themes we heard from experts and stakeholders.

This is the first of a series of blogs on this topic.  We’d like to keep the dialogue going   and look forward to hearing your feedback as we think about some of the policy challenges and opportunities.  Please comment on this blog if you feel so inclined.

Special thanks to MaryJo Deering and Michelle Murray for their ideas, hard work, and dedication to the development of this vision and its supporting core values and goals. I’d also like to acknowledge the support of Lygeia Ricciardi and Erin Poetter Siminerio from ONC’s consumer eHealth team.