The number of hospitals using electronic health records (EHR) in 2016 is more than nine times the number in 2008, according to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT’s 2016 report to Congress.

“This progress, where an extraordinary amount of electronic health information and infrastructure now exists that the country lacked merely a decade ago, has set the stage for a transition in focus to the seamless and secure flow of this health information–also known as interoperability–to improve the health and care of individuals and communities,” the report said.

In 2008, only 9 percent of hospitals used electronic health records, which has grown to 96 percent in 2015. In addition, the number of physicians’ offices using EHR grew from 17 percent to 78 percent in the same amount of time.

To promote increased interoperability within the health care community, HHS has set three priorities: promoting common, Federally recognized standards, building the business case for interoperability, and changing the culture around access to information.

“These efforts will help to advance national priorities, such as delivery system reform, the Precision Medicine Initiative, the Cancer Moonshot, combating opioid misuse and dependence, and enhancing public health,” the report said.

The report also expressed support for two Federal advisory committees, the Health IT Policy Committee (HITPC) and the Health IT Standards Committee (HITSC), which help to inform policy decisions and standards in health IT.

“HHS will continue to work with public and private sector partners in the months and years to come to ensure that people, organizations, and communities can easily access actionable electronic health information when and where it matters most,” the report said.

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