ANSI - American National Standards Institute
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HHS Secretary Leavitt Accepts Recommendations from Healthcare Information Technology Standards Panel (HITSP)

Data Standards to Support Nationwide Health Information Network

Washington, DC, Jan 25, 2007

On January 23, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Michael O. Leavitt announced his acceptance of thirty (30) consensus standards recommended by the Healthcare Information Technology Standards Panel (HITSP), taking the next step towards development of a nationwide health information network for the United States.

Formed in late 2005, HITSP is a multi-disciplinary coordinating body charged with identifying the technical standards necessary to enable healthcare data interoperability. Over the past year, the Panel’s 200+ private- and public-sector members completed standards harmonization in the areas of electronic health records (e.g., the electronic delivery of lab results to a doctor), biosurveillance (e.g., data networks supporting the rapid alert to a disease outbreak), and consumer empowerment (e.g., giving patients the ability to manage and control access to their registration and medication histories).

In October 2006, the HITSP delivered its recommendations and summary reports to the American Heath Information Community (AHIC). Members of AHIC recommended to Secretary Leavitt his acceptance of the standards, which are key components of three “Interoperability Specifications.” Leavitt confirmed his acceptance of the specifications and related standards at an AHIC meeting held today at the Department of Veterans Affairs in Washington, DC.

A recently signed Executive Order has called for any new or upgraded federal health information system launched after January 1, 2008, to be compliant with standards recommended by HITSP. Agencies administering or supporting health insurance programs and government contracts for purchasing health care will be directly affected.

Implementation testing is in progress by healthcare providers, public health agencies, government agencies, standards development organizations, consumers and other stakeholders. Interested parties are encouraged to visit for more information.

HITSP will continue its work over the next year with a new set of use cases supplied by AHIC.

Operating under a contract administered by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), the HITSP is administered by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), coordinator of the U.S. voluntary standardization system, in cooperation with strategic partners including the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), the Advanced Technology Institute (ATI) and Booz Allen Hamilton.

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