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HITSP Approves Gap Analysis Strategy

New York, May 08, 2006

The Healthcare Information Technology Standards Panel (HITSP) approved last week a strategy for resolving gaps and overlaps between standards that will support a nationwide healthcare system. The gap analysis strategy is designed to prevent deficiencies or duplication of standards that address consumer empowerment, electronic healthcare records, and biosurveillance. In addition, the panel examined a set of standards readiness criteria that will further assist the panel in selecting standards for their relevance and suitability.

Held in Arlington, VA, the meeting drew more than 100 stakeholders representing healthcare providers, public health agencies, consumers, government agencies, and standards developing organizations.

Dr. David J. Brailer, National Coordinator for Health Information Technology reported on recent activities of the American Health Information Community (AHIC) in furthering the Nationwide Health Information Network (NHIN). Brailer will be stepping down from his post on May 19, 2006. [See related article: David J. Brailer Resigns as Health IT Czar]. The Certification Commission for Health Information Technology (CCHIT)—the organization responsible for developing compliance criteria and inspection processes of electronic health records in support of the NHIN—provided the panel with an overview of CCHIT activities.

The next panel meeting will take place June 14, 2006, at which time the HITSP is expected to approve a list of standards that will support the interoperability specifications for the NHIN.

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) established the HITSP in September 2005 under a contract awarded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The mission of the panel is to achieve a widely accepted and useful set of standards to support widespread interoperability among healthcare software applications, as they will interact in a local, regional and national health information network for the United States. The HITSP has grown to include 190 organizations.

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