WEDI 2020 Annual Report
January 27, 2021
A message from WEDI’s CEO, Charles Stellar
2020 has met the criteria for being a challenge to our health care delivery system and unfortunately for the loss of lives that the pandemic has created. Amid so many crises, we have seen our health care community rise to meet an unfathomable challenge, divert resources, and focus on the COVID-19 pandemic for the sake of the millions.
As we find ourselves at the end of one year and the beginning of another, we are pleased to provide the WEDI Annual Report to showcase what has transpired over this past year, to reflect upon our performance, and to consider how best to align WEDI to be an even more efficient and effective vehicle for the future.
Personally, I feel deep gratitude to those who devoted their volunteer spirit to the WEDI workgroups, committees and forums during a year in which we experienced a roller coaster of emotions, where we were focused on our challenges, and where we collectively focused on opportunities to forge ahead with virtual educational events, group chats, regular workgroup meetings, and to those who added content to our various comment letters to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), Office of Civil Rights (OCR), Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and other agencies. Your participation added vital details of defining problems, proposing solutions, and working towards the goal of a fully interoperable framework that allows patients to move flawlessly within the complicated health care delivery system.
We continue to focus on barriers to accessing medical information not only for individual patient care but collectively to the broader public health initiatives. We have witnessed the critical role interoperability plays for our ability to successfully be aware of and know what to do in the control of infectious diseases and our opportunity to vastly improve the flow of information sharing of health information across platforms that can help us improve our response to threats such as another COVID-19 type event in the future. We are not exactly ready now, but efforts within ONC and CMS toadvance health IT through barring information blocking, open application program interfaces (APIs), data access and exchange are making progress. We need to continue to build on the momentum that we have begun so that we can continue to build a stronger health IT infrastructure that can help prepare for future crises.