President’s council calls on ONC

The President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) is an advisory group of the nation’s leading scientists and engineers, appointed by the President to augment the science and technology advice available to him from inside the White House and from cabinet departments and other Federal agencies. PCAST is consulted about and often makes policy recommendations concerning the full range of issues where understandings from the domains of science, technology, and innovation bear potentially on the policy choices before the President. PCAST is administered by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). On December 8, 2010 PCAST released a report to the President “Realizing the Full Potential of Health Information Technology To Improve Healthcare for Americans: The Path Forward“.

In the opening letter to the President from Co-chairs John Holdren and Eric Lander they state the report “examines how health information technology could improve the quality of healthcare and reduce its cost, and whether existing Federal efforts in health information technology are optimized for these goals.” The report recommends the ONC and CMS to “develop guidelines to spur adoption of such a language and to facilitate a transition from traditional electronic health records to the use of healthcare data tagged with privacy and security specifications.”

On Friday December 10th the ONC issued a Request for Information published in the Federal Register. The summary states the document is a request for comments regarding the recently released PCAST report and its implications for the nation’s health information technology (HIT) agenda and ONC’s implementation of the HITECH Act. Comments will be accepted  of no later than 5 p.m. on January 17, 2011.

More information can be found on the ONC page for Regulation and Guidance.


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