As part of the Oregon Health Authority's (OHA) commitment to improve Oregon's health care system, it has established a goal of eliminating
health inequities by 2030. Oregon's Health IT Oversight Council (HITOC) is responsible for ensuring that the right strategies for health IT are in place to support Oregon's health equity and health system transformation goals.
Starting in August 2021, HITOC began updating Oregon's strategic plan for health IT for 2022 and beyond. HITOC's strategic plan is for everyone in Oregon, not just Medicaid/Oregon Health Plan. Its statewide strategies touch state agencies, hospitals, health systems, CCOs and health insurance companies, clinicians and clinic staff, technology partners, consumers/patients, and more.
Why does this matter?
The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) is transforming the health care system, and health information technology (IT) is key to health system transformation. The core of Oregon’s health system transformation efforts, the coordinated care model, relies on health IT to succeed. To give a few examples, health IT helps:
- Patients, their families, and their caregivers get access to their own health information and participate in their care;
- Providers securely gather, store, and share patients’ clinical data so the care team can work together to provide care;
- Providers track and report on quality measures, which support efforts to hold the health care system accountable for delivering high-quality care; and
- CCOs, health insurance companies, and providers analyze data to identify disparities and patients who need more care to allow targeted efforts to improve health.
The historic events of the last few years (e.g., COVID-19, wildfires, heat storms, and more) have highlighted the need for:
- systems like community information exchange (CIE) to connect individuals to social services who need support to safely quarantine, manage during a heat wave, or who face losses related to wildfires
- sharing data across health care providers and public health agencies to respond to the pandemic and for emergency response
- better data on individuals' race, ethnicity, language, disability and other demographic factors to better identify populations most likely to face health inequities and better target resources, and
- supports for individuals who face barriers accessing Broadband and telehealth services.
The work to update the Strategic Plan for Health IT began in late 2019 but was paused in March 2020 due to COVID-19. Prior to the pause, OHA conducted listening sessions to hear from patients, providers, payers and CCOs, and others about their needs, challenges, and successes related to health IT. Although HITOC will consider input from prior listening sessions, HITOC will need to seek new input to get an accurate picture of current gaps and new possibilities.
HITOC will discuss the strategic plan at each of its meetings (which are the first Thursday of every other month). In addition, OHA staff will support this work in several ways: regular education webinars on health IT topics; issue briefs and case studies that describe the challenges and opportunities in the health IT landscape; and, as HITOC identifies promising strategies, OHA will develop concept papers that summarize strategies under consideration for public input, prior to drafting the updated plan. HITOC may charter workgroups to dive more deeply into specific topics, including a new CIE workgroup.
All HITOC meetings, workgroup meetings, and educational webinars are open to the public. Issue briefs, case studies, and concept papers will be posted on our
materials page. You can view the schedule for upcoming meetings
here. All meetings are recorded, and notes and materials from each meeting are posted on the
Opportunities for input
HITOC and OHA staff are seeking input from community, health care partners, and all interested parties. We welcome your input. There are several ways to share your thoughts, from workgroups, public comment during HITOC meetings, listening sessions, and written comment —and we expect to add more opportunities in 2022. You can learn more on our
Provide Input page.
HITOC has chartered two workgroups provide recommendations to HITOC and the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) on strategies to accelerate, support, and improve health IT. For more information on the workgroups, visit their webpages:
Planned for 2022
- Issue briefs that describe the key strategic priority areas such as health information exchange (HIE), CIE, EHR adoption, and more.
- Case studies that bring more voices forward regarding their health IT experiences
Planned for late 2022
Other Background Materials
- Concept papers that summarize key strategies under consideration for the updated plan