ANSI - American National Standards Institute
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Panel Recommends Initial Standards to Support Nationwide Health Information Network


New York, Jun 30, 2006

The Healthcare Information Technology Standards Panel (HITSP) has identified for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services an initial set of standards to facilitate the secure exchange of patient data in a new nationwide health information network (NHIN) for the United States. President George W. Bush called for development of the NHIN by 2014.

Operating under a contract administered by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONCHIT), the HITSP was formed in 2005 to harmonize the standards required to enable an interoperable healthcare data network. Initial work has focused on the areas of biosurveillance, consumer empowerment, and electronic healthcare records – the three initial use cases identified by the American Health Information Community (AHIC). The ninety standards delivered today were identified by the Panel as being relevant and suitable for further consideration. The next HITSP deliverable, due in late September 2006, calls for detailed interoperability specifications to support each use case.

More than 190 organizations representing consumers, healthcare providers, public health agencies, government agencies, standards development organizations and other stakeholders participate on the HITSP and assisted in shaping the recommended list of standards.

“HITSP members have worked together to develop an open, transparent process for standards harmonization based on objective criteria,” said Dr. John Halamka, chair of the HITSP and chief information officer of Harvard Medical School. “We’ve considered nearly 600 candidate standards and identified 90 of the most appropriate to meet the needs of the AHIC use cases. Our next task will be to produce the detailed standards guides, called interoperability specifications that will enable the creation of a secure information superhighway for healthcare.”

The Panel 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.

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, which currently administers three standards panels in the areas of homeland security, nanotechnology, and healthcare information technology, has announced its intent to launch a new panel to address identity theft prevention and identity management standards.

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