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ONC Announces Health IT Challenge

February 3, 2012—The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) Jan. 26 announced the “Discharge Follow-Up Appointment Challenge” competition, seeking an “easy-to-use web-based tool” that would help reduce the nearly one in five readmission rate that occurs among hospital patients within 30 days of discharge. The challenge seeks health IT solutions that would lessen the chance of readmission by ensuring that patients receive timely follow-up care via more effective appointment scheduling between the patient, caregivers, and care providers at the point of discharge.

The competition is the second in a series of challenges that ONC has launched in an effort to support the spread and adoption of IT-enabled solutions to help achieve “better care and better health at lower cost” —particularly at the time a patient is discharged from the hospital. The first competition in the series, “Ensuring Safe Transitions from Hospital to Home,” sought health IT solutions to improve the patient’s safety and care transition during transfer to their next care setting, including their home, nursing home, or hospice.

The first winner will receive partnership consideration with a pilot test-bed community candidate and up to $5,000 to support a 3-day site visit to the pilot community involving 2-3 people. The submission deadline is April 30, and the winners will be announced May 24 or 25.


Ethan Kendrick
Senior Program Specialist, Health Care Affairs
Telephone: 202-741-5461


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Washington Highlights, a weekly electronic newsletter, features brief updates on the latest legislative and regulatory activities affecting medical schools and teaching hospitals.

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Telephone: 202-903-0806