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CHIO Role at CMS Will Enhance Data Sharing, Health IT Use

The new CHIO will aim to improve healthcare delivery and patient outcomes by enhancing data sharing and encouraging broader health IT use.

CHIO role at CMS will promote data sharing and health IT use

Source: Thinkstock

By Jessica Kent

- The new Chief Health Informatics Officer (CHIO) position at CMS will work with federal officials and industry stakeholders to improve care delivery and patient outcomes through increased data sharing and health IT use.

First announced in June 2018, the new role will allow CMS to engage stakeholders from across the care continuum and to achieve the goals of its MyHealthEData Initiative, which aims to enable patients to seamlessly access and share their health data, says CMS Administrator Seema Verma.  

“Despite today’s amazing technology and decades of promises, we are not where we should be. The CHIO role will enhance my leadership team, working across CMS, with federal partners including the US Digital Service, and alongside private industry and researchers to lead innovation and help inform CMS’ health IT strategy,” Verma wrote in a blog post.

“The challenge is great, but so is the reward—building the next generation of interoperable health systems for millions of Americans and affecting national and global health IT for good.”

Verma noted that the CHIO will work alongside CMS to empower patients and put them at the center of the healthcare system. The organization also aims to get closer to its goal of true interoperability between health IT systems.

“Patients should expect health IT that enhances their care coordination instead of disrupting it,” Verma said.

“Their information should automatically follow them to all of their healthcare providers, so that everyone stays informed and can provide the best treatment. Patients also should know how much a health service costs so they can decide whether they want it, and ‘shop around’ for where to get it.”

CMS’ focus on data was a major driver for the creation of the CHIO position. The agency is looking to use data to drive down costs, inform its strategy, and promote patient choice.

CMS is also relying upon Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) to allow software developers and researchers to design apps and other tools powered by secure data.

Verma added that the CHIO will also help enhance CMS’s many health IT initiatives, including the Blue Button 2.0 program, which is a universal digital platform for health data.

The new position will also support the organization’s recent rebrand of the EHR Incentive Programs to highlight its focus on interoperability.

“I look forward to meeting qualified CHIO candidates who wish to step up to this challenge and join the team that will lead CMS health IT over the “finish line” so that we can drive down costs and save lives,” Verma concluded. “The time is now to realize the true potential of health IT for America’s patients.”

CMS is closing the search for the position on July 20, 2018. For more information on the position, please click here.

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