ANSI - American National Standards Institute
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ANSI Healthcare Informatics Standards Board Supports the National Health Information Infrastructure

New York, Apr 11, 2005

On February 17, 2005, Dr. David J. Brailer, the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, spoke at the 2005 HIMSS Annual Conference in Dallas, TX, reminding the audience that the new Secretary of Health and Human Services, Mike Leavitt, “is making health information technology a major priority for the Department.” Several representatives of the standards community met with Dr. Brailer during the conference to discuss standards coordination and inventories related to health informatics and their role in developing the National Health Information Infrastructure (NHII) in the United States.

In a recent letter to Dr. Brailer on behalf of the American National Standards Institute’s Healthcare Informatics Standards Board (ANSI HISB), Robert Owens, chair of the ANSI HISB, reiterated the Board’s interest in working with the Office of the National Coordinator and assisting in the NHII. Currently, the ANSI HISB is engaged in two initiatives to aid in this task: the United States Health Informatics Knowledgebase and the NIST Health Care Standards Landscape, which are electronic databases that house information on thousands of national standards projects. ANSI HISB members support these initiatives by keeping their content accurate and updated on a regular basis; they will be beneficial in compiling information on the thousands of national standards projects that may be useful in supporting the NHII.

“The ANSI-HISB believes that it can successfully serve the Office of the National Coordinator of Healthcare Informatics as a coordinating body,” Owens states in the letter. “With more than ten years experience facilitating, coordinating, harmonizing and promoting the development and use of national and international healthcare informatics standards, the ANSI HISB has already explored a wide cross-section of requirements and issues associated with healthcare informatics and we are committed to sharing our experience and assisting in your development of the NHII.”

According to the letter, the ANSI-HISB Board is willing and able to engage in the following activities:

  • facilitate and encourage coordination between standards developers
  • provide written reports to ONCHIT on the outcome of these discussions
  • make recommendations as to standards requirements for interoperability to the National Center for Vital Health Statistics (NCVHS), and to ONCHIT for adoption into the NHII

In addition, the ANSI-HISB is also prepared to update an inventory of national healthcare informatics standards that was originally developed in support of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and to identify areas where further work is necessary.

The Healthcare Informatics Standards Board meets quarterly to discuss projects undertaken by its members, identify areas where coordination needs to be achieved, and mitigate the duplication of work and conflicting standards. The HISB will meet next on June 23-24, 2005, to develop a plan for the timely accomplishment of the projects indicated in support of the ONCHIT.

For more information on the HISB, visit

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