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HITSP to Address Provisions of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

New York, Apr 07, 2009

The Healthcare Information Technology Standards Panel (HITSP) has announced that it will reprioritize its 2009 work to provide greater focus on provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) for the next 90 days. ARRA contains numerous technology and privacy provisions with aggressive timelines for completion.

Many of the initial ARRA milestones are related to standards and HITSP’s work, including:

  • Technology to protect privacy and security

  • A nationwide health information infrastructure that supports exchange of health information

  • The use of certified health records for each person in the U.S. by 2014

  • Technologies to account for disclosures of health information

  • The use of certified electronic health records (EHR) to improve the quality of health care by promoting the coordination of health care and improving continuity of health care among health care providers; reducing medical errors; improving population health; reducing health disparities; reducing chronic disease; and advancing research and education

  • Technologies that allow individually identifiable health information to be rendered unusable, unreadable, or indecipherable to unauthorized individuals

  • The use of electronic systems to ensure the comprehensive collection of patient demographic data

  • Technologies that address the needs of children and other vulnerable populations

In order to help meet these statutory requirements, HITSP will focus the energies of its volunteers, staff, and leadership on these areas for the next 90 days. HITSP’s work products to date — 13 interoperability specifications and 60 related constructs — will be leveraged to create new streamlined electronic standards implementation guides reorganized around the ARRA milestones. This will result in compact, easy-to-implement, and flexible guidance to support the meaningful use of EHRs and protection of privacy.

Certain efforts (e.g., Social Security Administration initiatives, Quality Measures, Clinical Research, Nationwide Health Information Network [NHIN] and Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology [CCHIT] coordination, etc.) are expected to continue with minimal impact.

For details of the new HITSP priorities and work plans, members of the media are invited to attend the HITSP Town Hall meeting on April 7, 2009, at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Annual Conference and Exhibition at McCormick Place in Chicago, IL. For more information on the HITSP Town Hall meeting, go to or contact Joyce Lofstrom, HIMSS Corporate Communications at

Operating under contract to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), 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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