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3 Major Trends Shaping the Federal Healthcare Landscape

Advancements in digital technologies have reached every corner of the federal government, and healthcare agencies are exploring the unique benefits they offer for patient care and cutting-edge research projects.

The Potomac Officers Club’s 2024 Healthcare Summit on December 11 will convene healthcare leaders from both the public and private sectors to share their insights on the top priorities and challenges facing federal healthcare organizations today. To learn more and take advantage of the opportunity to hear from healthcare experts, visit the 2024 Healthcare Summit event page.

Though emerging technologies vary dramatically, there are several specific trends informing much of the healthcare sector’s adoption of these tools. Keep reading to learn about three key areas federal healthcare organizations are focused on as they push forward in their modernization journeys.


Cybersecurity is a government-wide priority, and health agencies have taken many steps to upgrade their cyber defenses and ensure that patient data stays under lock and key.

To drive these efforts forward, the Department of Health and Human Services is working on a cybersecurity strategy for the healthcare sector, which is set to include four main objectives: establishing voluntary cybersecurity goals; providing resources to incentivize and implement these cybersecurity practices; implementing an HHS-wide strategy to support greater enforcement and accountability; and expanding and maturing the one-stop shop within HHS for healthcare sector cybersecurity.

HHS released the voluntary goals in January. They are informed by earlier federal cybersecurity strategies and were made public with the launch of a dedicated website, which lays out numerous “essential” and “enhanced” goals, such as cybersecurity training and multi-factor authentication, among many others.

Artificial Intelligence

In recent years, artificial intelligence has exploded in popularity, and the U.S. government has made a commitment to safely and effectively adopting these tools. Now, AI is one of the most powerful technologies organizations can use to quickly sort through and analyze mass amounts of data, and these capabilities present a number of opportunities for healthcare organizations.

HHS is looking to take advantage of what AI has to offer, and earlier this week, the department announced that it intends to fund AI-related projects under the Leading Edge Acceleration Projects in Health Information Technology program in 2024. One topic the selected projects will investigate is how to assess and improve the quality of data used by AI tools in healthcare.

In January, Maynard Nexsen reported that the department released a rule setting new guidelines for AI with a goal of making algorithms used by predictive AI in electronic health records more transparent.


Data sharing is an important piece of both health research and providing patient care, and healthcare organizations are working to harness digital technologies for increased connectivity.

Along with algorithm transparency, the recently released rule also calls for the adoption of the U.S. Core Data for Interoperability Version 3 as the minimum standard within the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology’s Certification Program.

The Military Health System recently made strides in a massive systems integration effort. Through its Genesis initiative, which was created to establish electronic health records across the MHS, the organization has already connected 138 military hospitals and clinics and integrated health and benefit information systems across the Department of Defense, Department of Veterans Affairs and private sector partner organizations.

To learn more about public sector healthcare priorities, register for the 2024 Healthcare Summit here.

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