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HITSP Approves New Interoperability Specifications in Line with American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

Specifications developed in just 90 days in response to EHR-centric components of the stimulus legislation

New York, Jul 23, 2009

The Healthcare Information Technology Standards Panel (HITSP) is pleased to announce that it has approved the following specifications at its July 8, 2009, panel meeting in Arlington, Virginia:
  • HITSP/IS107 – Electronic Health Record (EHR)-Centric Interoperability Specification
  • HITSP/TN904 – Exchange Architecture & Harmonization Framework Technical Note
  • HITSP/TN903 – Data Architecture Technical Note
  • HITSP/SC108- SC116 – Service Collaborations

“HITSP has transformed its existing work to be completely aligned with the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA),” explained Dr. John Halamka, HITSP chair. “These approved specifications represent the culmination of some 90 days and 13,000 hours of volunteer effort to meet the requirements of this landmark piece of legislation.”

On April 7, 2009, HITSP began to leverage its work products – 13 Interoperability Specifications (IS) and 60 related constructs – to consolidate all information exchanges that involve an Electronic Health Record (EHR) system. This work effort was organized around ARRA requirements, notably in Title XIII (HITECH) Section 3000 Definitions (13) Qualified Electronic Health Record, Section 3002 Required Areas for Consideration; and Medicare and Medicaid Incentives defined in ARRA Title IV (Division B).

Working on a fast-track schedule, HITSP formed temporary “tiger” teams to map EHR-related information exchanges to ARRA requirements. These teams identified “Capabilities” – specific, implementable business services that use existing HITSP constructs to define and specify interoperable information exchanges. For example, the Communicate Hospital Prescriptions Capability addresses the interoperability requirements needed to support electronic prescribing for inpatient prescription orders.

In total, twenty-six Capabilities have been defined that support the workflow, information content, infrastructure, and security and privacy requirements laid out in the ARRA legislation. All of the Capabilities are defined in HITSP/IS107 –EHR-Centric Interoperability Specification, which was approved at the July 8 meeting, representing the culmination of this three-month effort.

HITSP Capabilities also address another key ARRA component: the “meaningful use” of health information technologies. Last week, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC)’s Health IT Policy Committee recommended a definition of meaningful use that names seven different electronic exchanges to be required by 2011: ePrescribing, lab results, clinical data summaries (problems, medications, allergies, laboratory reports) from provider to provider, Biosurveillance, immunization registries, public health, and quality measurement.

“HITSP Capabilities provide specific transactions supporting all seven of these required exchanges and others that will be needed in 2011, 2013, and beyond,” continued Halamka. “Going forward, the Panel will continue to work closely with ONC to respond to ARRA and meaningful use requirements that can be addressed by EHR systems.”

For more information or to download the approved specifications, visit

Operating under contract to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the HITSP is administered by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) in cooperation with strategic partners including the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), the Advanced Technology Institute (ATI) and Booz Allen Hamilton.

About ANSI
ANSI is a private non-profit organization whose mission is to enhance U.S. global competitiveness and the American quality of life by promoting, facilitating, and safeguarding the integrity of the voluntary standardization and conformity assessment system. Its membership is comprised of businesses, professional societies and trade associations, standards developers, government agencies, and consumer and labor organizations. The Institute currently administers five standards panels in the areas of homeland security, nanotechnology, healthcare information technology, biofuels and identity theft prevention and identity management.

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