ANSI - American National Standards Institute
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ANSI Healthcare Informatics Standards Board Survey Highlights Industry Challenges and Successful Standards


New York, Oct 09, 2003

For a three-month period during the summer of 2003, the ANSI Healthcare Informatics Standards Board (HISB) conducted a survey about the needs of the healthcare informatics community. The questionnaire provided a voice for the healthcare information technology community to improve the standardization system under which it operates. Each submission qualified for entry into a random drawing for a $200 Amazon.com gift certificate, held at the ANSI Annual Conference in Washington, DC, where a special display showcased the results.

The responses received have helped the HISB to identify areas in which new or revised standards are needed, what areas are at risk for duplication or overlap, and what new subject areas or groups exist that might benefit from HISB coordination efforts. Vendors, providers and users agree that the key to passing information between information systems is closer coordination and the development of harmonized standards. 75% of survey respondents believe that there are currently standardization activities, issues or groups within the healthcare informatics industry that would benefit from this enhanced coordination. It was also noted that SDOs need to be more aware of what others are doing and work together on both a national and international level toward improved harmonization that reduces or eliminates redundant or incompatible efforts.

Some of the standards-related needs identified in the survey were:

  • Heightened physician, resident and consultant awareness of the benefits of informatics in their institutions;
  • Single coding system;
  • Links from clinical systems to operation systems;
  • Reduction of redundant activities; and
  • Reduction of [the number of] meetings and [requirements for] face to face communication.

Some of the standards that were identified as “most beneficial” by survey respondents included:

  • ANSI/HL7 V2.4-2000, Application Profile for Electronic Data Exchange in Healthcare
    Mentioned by 30% of respondents, this Health Level 7 (HL7) family of messaging standards (Version 2) addresses computer-to-computer communication and messaging and defines data sets and values.
  • X12.316, Healthcare Claims Status Request Suite
    Developed by X12N, the Insurance Subcommittee of ANSI Accredited Standards Committee X12 on electronic data interchange, this standard describes the exchange of information for insurance functions such as eligibility, referrals and authorizations, claims, claim status, payment and remittance advice and provider directories.
  • NCCLS LIS1-A through NCCLS LIS9-A*. Originally developed by ASTM International, and now maintained by NCCLS, this family of standards relates to security, privacy and the electronic patient health record.
  • NCCLS POCT1A, Point of Care Connectivity
    This standard allows for communication between point of care laboratory instruments and computer systems.
  • ICD-9, International Classification of Diseases This project is pioneered (and frequently updated by) the National Center for Health Statistics. It is a listing of agreed upon names and classifications for diseases that allows for “standard diagnosis and procedure collection through the World Health Organization (WHO) for data collection worldwide, standardized data that drives informed decision making, and standardized data that drives interoperability of data electronically.”

The ANSI HISB is an open, public forum for the voluntary coordination of healthcare informatics standards among all U.S. standard-developing organizations. Its membership is comprised of ANSI-accredited and other standards developing organizations, professional societies, trade associations, private companies, federal agencies and others. For more information, please visit www.ansi.org/hisb or contact Sally Seitz, HISB Secretary (212.642.4918; sseitz@ansi.org).


*Standards from the formerly named “National Committee for Clinical Laboratory Standards” — the organization is now only referred to by its acronym.

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