Supporting “personalized health care”Skip to issue
§1. The potential role of health IT
Decisions about diagnosis, treatment or prevention should reflect a person’s values and preferences, and should begin with the person as a key member of the care team.
Personalized health care (also called “personalized medicine” or “precision heath care”) involves information about the individual’s physical condition and genetic background. But it also requires information about the individual’s environment and community, health-related behaviors, culture and values, family history, prior response to treatment, levels of health knowledge and engagement, and proximity to a treatment center.
Health IT can support personalized health care in many ways. For example, EHRs can be configured to:
- accept PGHD (See Patient-generated health data);
- identify candidates for clinical trials and other research; and/or
- prompt consumers to enter missing information or confirm their record’s accuracy (such as medication lists, allergies, family history).
Health IT can also prompt members of the care team to provide consumers or caregivers with educational materials that help them manage health outside the office setting, or learn more about a condition, a diagnosis, or care options.
- How can health IT best support the adoption of shared-care plans that are (i) fully accessible by consumers and providers; (ii) reflect personal preferences and values; and (iii) promote joint participation in and responsibility for health choices?
- What federal policies would guide the development and use of health IT in a way that supports the adoption of shared care plans?
§2. Privacy & security
ONC recognizes that privacy and security concerns may impact the willingness of consumers and providers to use health IT to increase access to health information. Privacy and security are the topic of a separate section of the Strategic Plan (Goal 3), since these concerns cut across all areas of health IT. Although this public comment period is not targeted at updating Goal 3, ONC will be revising that section of the Plan and your discussion of these concerns, and ideas about addressing them, will help the federal government decide on appropriate future steps.
(You can read the current version of Goal 3 by clicking the Background Documents tab at the top of this page, and selecting 2011-2015 Federal Health IT Strategic Plan).