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Federal Standards Efforts

There are several federal government initiatives related to standards development, including:

Healthcare Information Technology Standards Panel (HITSP) Main Page

HITSP Public Documents

The HITSP works to achieve widely accepted and readily-implemented consensus-based standards for various electronic processes that will enable and support widespread interoperability among healthcare information technology, especially as they would interact in a Nationwide Health Information Network (NHIN) for the United States. The main site describes the panel, meeting schedules, staffing, and other descriptive information. The public documents site contains all completed documents from the HITSP work. From here you can go directly to the folder for Requirements, Design, and Standards Selection documents, which are the drafts of the findings of the various workgroups; and the Standardization Committees and Technical Committees, which contain documents specific to ongoing activities of HITSP. The Technical Committee site contains separate folders for each workgroup with related completed materials.

Health Information Security and Privacy Collaboration (HISPC)

The Health Information Technology Security and Privacy Collaboration (HISPC) was established by RTI International under its Privacy and Security Solutions for Interoperable Health Information Exchange contract with the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), which was awarded in September 2005. HISPC is intended to bring together stakeholders to discuss the status of national efforts to identify and address privacy and security issues relating to HIT and to create an interoperable health information exchange network.

American Health Information Community (AHIC)

The American Health Information Community (AHIC) is a federal advisory body that was chartered in 2005 to make recommendations to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on how to accelerate the development and adoption of health information technology. This site contains public meeting calendars for the various workgroups, meeting participation details, selected use cases, presentations, and other materials from the meetings.

Office of the National Coordinator (ONC)

The Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) counsels the Secretary of HHS and other HHS leaders on the development and implementation of an interoperable HIT infrastructure in the U.S. The ONC manages and supports the AHIC, which in turn serves as a coordinator for the Nationwide Health Information Network (NHIN). The ONC also develops, maintains, and directs the implementation of HHS’ plans to implement nationwide interoperable HIT in both public and private health care sectors. The ONC also comments and advises on specific Federal HIT programs at the request of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology (CCHIT)

The Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology (CCHIT) is an independent, voluntary, private-sector initiative that serves as a recognized certification body (RCB) for electronic health records and the networks that support them. CCHIT’s mission is to accelerate HIT adoption by creating efficient, credible, and sustainable product certification. In September 2005, HHS awarded CCHIT a three-year contract to develop certification criteria and to devise an inspection process for HIT implementation in the areas of ambulatory and inpatient electronic health records and the network components through which they interoperate.

Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE)

Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE) is an initiative begun by healthcare professionals and members of the healthcare industry to improve and advance how healthcare computer systems share information. IHE promotes the use of DICOM, HL7, and other established standards to support the delivery of optimal patient care. Ultimately, IHE is working to create a model in which vital health information is transmitted seamlessly both within systems and across departments and in which information is available immediately to physicians, medical specialists, nurses, and administrators at the point of care.

Consolidated Health Informatics (CHI)

Born out of a Presidential charge to maximize the federal government’s productivity from technology, the Consolidated Healthcare Informatics Initiative (CHI) is an effort dedicated to establishing federal health information interoperability standards as the basis for electronic health data transfer in all activities and programs and among all agencies and departments. The target audience for this initiative is up to 20 federal agencies, including the DHHS (e.g., CDC, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Indian Health Service, Food and Drug Administration), Department of Defense, Department of Veterans Affairs, as well as others such as Social Security Administration, Department of State, and General Services Administration.

The National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics (NCVHS)

The National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics (NCVHS) is the statutory federal advisory committee to the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services on national health information policy, including the implementation of HIPAA. The NCVHS is intended to serve as a national forum for the collaboration of stakeholders to accelerate and advance public and private health information systems toward uniform data standards. The NCVHS also provides scientific and technical advice regarding the design and operation of health statistics and information systems and services.

United States Health Information Knowledgebase (USHIK)

The United States Health Information Knowledgebase (USHIK) provides and maintains a metadata registry of health information data element definitions, values and information models that enable browsing, comparison, synchronization and harmonization within a uniform query and interface environment. The USHIK is populated with the data elements and information models of Standards Development Organizations (SDO) and other healthcare organizations, including the Health Care Service Data Reporting Guide.