ONC Readies a PR Offensive

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The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology is preparing for substantial surveying of physicians, other health care professionals and the general public as it seeks a comprehensive communication campaign to promote provisions of the HITECH Act.

"This information will be used to assess the need for communications on specific topics and to assist in the development and modification of communication messages," ONC states in a notice published May 19 in the Federal Register.

The office further needs better understanding of the general beliefs of clinicians who play a major role in the use of health information technology, according to the notice. "ONC must determine their informational needs and the most effective communication channels and formats for reaching and educating them about the transition to an electronic records environment. This information will allow ONC to engage healthcare professionals as partners in the transition."

The office seeks Office of Management and Budget approval to screen more than 16,600 members of the general public and select nearly 4,300. It also intends to screen 13,320 health professionals and select nearly 4,400 for focus groups, surveys and individual in-depth interviews.

The notice, which includes a 30-day public comment period, is available here.

--Joseph Goedert


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