The ongoing American Healthy People 2020 campaign sets a 10-year agenda for improving the nation’s health.

One of the key objectives is to use health communication strategies and health information technology to improve population health outcomes and health care quality, and to achieve health equity.

The campaign describes many ways health communication and IT can have a positive impact on health, health care and equity, including:

  • Supporting shared decision-making between patients and providers
  • Providing personalised self-management tools and resources
  • Building social support networks
  • Delivering accurate, accessible, and actionable health information that is targeted or tailored
  • Facilitating the meaningful use of health IT and the exchange of health information among health care and public health professionals
  • Enabling quick and informed responses to health risks and public health emergencies
  • Increasing health literacy skills
  • Providing new opportunities to connect with culturally diverse and hard-to-reach populations
  • Providing sound principles in the design of programs and interventions that result in healthier behaviours
  • Increasing internet and mobile access

It argues effective use of communication and technology by health and care public professionals can bring about an age of patient and public-centred health information and services.

Healthy People 2030, which will update the health information agenda, is currently being drafted.