Thursday, April 2, 2009

New Priorities for HITSP

Some of you may have seen the news alert from Modern Healthcare today "HITSP suspends activity for 90 days" and the followup article at Modern Healthcare's website "HITSP pauses use case work to focus on EHR stimulus requirements"

I've spoken with the author Joe Conn, shared my powerpoint presentation, and have been told that further clarification will appear in Modern Healthcare's Beyond the Headlines tomorrow.

The article notes that the HIT Standards Committee "is the apparent replacement of the current Healthcare Information Technology Standards Panel, which was created in 2005 as a private, not-for-profit organization but funded under a $3.3 million contract from HHS. "

The HIT Standards Committee will hopefully will be the evolution of NeHC. It is my hope and expectation that HITSP will now receive its priorities from the HIT Standards Committee, not be replaced by it.

I'd like to summarize my webinar message to the HITSP Panel today, which is about reprioritizing and accelerating our work, not suspending it.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act contains numerous technology and privacy provisions with aggressive timelines for completion.

Many of these ARRA milestones are related to standards and the work of the Healthcare Information Technology Standards Panel including

1. Technology to protect privacy and security
2. A nationwide health information infrastructure that supports exchange of health information
3. The use of certified health record for each person in the US by 2014
4. Technologies to account for disclosures of health information
5. The use of certified electronic health records to improve the quality of health care, such as by promoting the coordination of health care and improving continuity of health care among health care providers, by reducing medical errors, by improving population health, by reducing health disparities, by reducing chronic disease, and by advancing research and education.
6. Technologies that allow individually identifiable health information to be rendered unusable, unreadable, or indecipherable to unauthorized individual
7. The use of electronic systems to ensure the comprehensive collection of patient demographic data
8. Technologies that address the needs of children and other vulnerable populations

In order to meet these statutory requirements, HITSP must focus the energies of its volunteers, staff, and leadership on these areas for the next 90 days. This means that HITSP's products to date - 13 interoperability specifications - will be leveraged to create new streamlined electronically published standards guides organized around the ARRA EHR interoperability requirements . The end result will be much more compact, easy to implement, and flexible implementation guidance which supports the meaningful use of EHRs and protection of privacy.

This focus on ARRA will result in a re-examination and adjustment of the current HITSP work schedule for the next 90 days. Some efforts (e.g., SSA, Interoperability Showcase, Quality Measures, NHIN and CCHIT coordination, etc.) are expected to continue on a non-interference basis.

We've circulated our early thoughts about the work ahead to our technical committee chairs and encouraged them to discuss scope, time, and resource needs with their committee members.

I look forward to the great work HITSP will do together over the next 90 days. It will be like running a marathon, but it will be worth it!


Ahier said...

Thank you for keeping us up to date on this important work.
Standards are vital in order to create a framework for interoperability as we try to develop health information exchanges.

Todd said...


Appreciate the work that HITSP has done. It has provided an important mechanism to provide implementation guidance.

This has certainly been important to the NHIN Cooperative effort.

Todd Rowland MD

Unknown said...

I'd like to comment on your discussion of standardizing electronic medical records between hospitals, insurance companies, and other medical institutions.

There are a few issues regarding compatibility, including patient confidentiality and security of records, each hospital has different technologies and software to handle their patient database. Making different systems work seamlessly is difficult even in individual companies. Tying together multiple hospitals would be an interesting challenge.

I think its a good idea though, because then any patient can go to any hospital and not worry about mistaken or inaccurate medical history.
I even think it's possible to adapt and customize existing packages like PeopleSoft ERP to handle patient medical records.

Thank you,

mabramso AT

Todcasting said...


In my view, ERP is the wrong generation of technology. The answer will not be in proprietary systems hosted at providers, but at emerging software-as-a-service solutions utilized by different members of the healthcare value chain

Unknown said...

Hi Tod,
imo, SAAS is not the way to go either. It has some nice advantages, like access to a service from anywhere with an internet connection, and the fact that everything would be stored in a central place.

I think medical records should be treated with the same care as banking and credit card information. Thus one needs strong security, and assurance that whatever institution is handling medical records as a service is doing it competently. 100% availability, and that the provider is going to be around in the future.

I don't think entrusting medical records to an outside institution is the answer.


Football Matches said...

Appreciate the work that HITSP has done. It has provided an important mechanism to provide implementation guidance.

This has certainly been important to the NHIN Cooperative effort.

Recep Deniz MD