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Creating a Health IT Ecosystem

Today is the day – all comments are due to the government about their Federal Health IT Strategic Plan. If you’ve been following my series this week, you’ll know that I’ve been unpacking each of the five goals outlined in the plan, spotlighting how health IT marketing communications leaders can use them to accelerate thought leadership efforts and become a leading voice in the discussion.

To jog your memory, the five federal Health IT goals identified by the ONC as priorities in the years 2015 – 2020 are:

  1. Expand Adoption of Health IT
  2. Advance Secure and Interoperable Health Information
  3. Strengthen Health Care Delivery
  4. Advance the Health and Well-Being of Individuals and Communities
  5. Advance Research, Scientific Knowledge, and Innovation

Goal 5: Advance Research, Scientific Knowledge, and Innovation.

Objective A: Increase access to and usability of high-quality electronic health information and services.

One thing really jumped out at me in this section of the plan – the idea of a “learning health system.” What a novel idea! An ecosystem that actually evolves and has the technology infrastructure to deliver a continuous feedback loop. To make this a reality, health IT needs to embrace a new era of standards and commit to delivering improved user experiences. You and your company must make a case around this – and if you have a good one, use it as the foundation of an award or speaking program.

Objective B: Accelerate the development and commercialization of innovative technologies and solutions.

Your role does not begin at product launch, it begins at the germination of each and every product idea. I’ve always believed that the most successful marketing and communications leaders are also the most knowledgeable and experienced competitive intelligence experts. To become a trusted collaborator in the development stage, you need to know what existing and future competitors are up to.

Take action by building a competitive intelligence program into your communications. Not only does this help you define your biggest existing competitors and their market activity, it gives you a framework to analyze and educate your executive team about the up-and-coming competitors who are breaking pre-defined category molds. In addition, it provides you with the knowledge you need to craft unique, compelling messaging that shatters the competition.

Objective C: Invest, disseminate, and translate research on how health IT can improve health and care delivery.

Dissemination and translation is the name of our game. How appropriate that this is the final objective of the final goal – it is, at its heart, a clear call to action for you to derive meaning and value from the wealth of storylines you have at your fingertips. Just as data has no value unless it is analyzed, so too health IT is inconceivable without translation. You are that translator. Embrace it, live it, and define it.

Click here to catch up on the first four goals: Finding Your Voice in the Federal Health IT DebateEmbracing Interoperability in Health ITHealth IT’s Role in Improving Healthcare Delivery, and Tell the Human Side of Your Health IT Story.

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