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HHS Awards Network Architecture Contracts in Support of Nationwide Health Information Network

HITSP Panel to reconvene in January

New York, Nov 10, 2005

Four contract awards announced today by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) mark another major advancement toward the creation of an interoperable, standards-based Nationwide Health Information Network (NHIN) in support of President George W. Bush’s goal to establish the widespread adoption of electronic healthcare records within ten years.

The contracts totaling $18.6 million have been awarded to four consortia comprised of information technology and health care organizations, led respectively by Accenture, Computer Science Corporation (CSC), International Business Machines (IBM) and Northrop Grumman. The consortia will each work to create and implement a standards-based network prototype for the NHIN architecture and will collaborate to ensure that information can move securely across all four prototype networks, allowing them to test the interoperability and security of a shared healthcare system.

"These prototypes are the key to information portability for American consumers and are a major step in our national effort to modernize healthcare delivery," said David J. Brailer, MD, PhD, the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology Coordinator. "This is a critical piece of moving health IT from hope to reality."

Previous funding by HHS in support of this effort included a contract awarded October 6, 2005, to the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) to establish the Healthcare Information Technology Standards Panel (HITSP). The purpose of the HITSP is to achieve a set of consensus-based standards to sustain the interoperability, privacy and security of a nationwide healthcare system.

The HITSP Board of Directors will convene for the first Board meeting December 13, 2005, in Washington, DC, to advance the framework established at the inaugural HITSP meeting held on September 27-28, 2005, and to recommend a vice chairman for the panel. On January 5, 2006, HITSP members will reconvene for a full panel meeting to review the revised HITSP charter. Comprised of more than 130 organizations, the HITSP is represented by standards development organizations, healthcare providers, public health agencies, consumers, and government agencies.

For more information about participating in the HITSP, please visit

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