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American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) Submits Comments to Hit Policy Committee About Meaningful Use and Electronic Health Record Certification

BETHESDA, Md., July 15 /PRNewswire/ -- The American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) announced today that it had submitted additional written comments to the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) and the HIT Policy Committee about meaningful use and electronic health record certification. The HIT Policy Committee and its Certification/Adoption Workgroup is meeting and holding public hearings in Washington, D.C. on July 14-16, 2009.

Dr. Ted Shortliffe, AMIA's President and CEO, stated, "Considerations related to functionality and attributes of EHRs and how they are implemented will be critical to the successful implementation and use of these systems." As we note in our formal comments, "Certifying an EHR does not necessarily equate with effectively using the system's available functions nor does implementation of a certified product necessarily achieve or ensure actual changes in either clinical practice or patient outcomes. The potentially transformative power of EHRs rests with the increased availability of data in order to enhance clinical and preventive care, knowledge building, and evidence creation. The motivation lies with what the technology can and must do for the nation's health and healthcare-not with the technology itself."

AMIA stresses the following key points:

  • EHRs are an evolving technology, with good applications currently available but substantial improvements and enhanced functionality are anticipated
  • The current certification approach and processes are not sufficient
  • EHR certification should focus on process and care improvements over time
  • No EHRs should be certified that are incapable of evolving into more robust versions
  • Certification should work towards evidence-based standards for EHRs implementations
  • Continued research and evaluation are needed to determine those EHR functions and capabilities that will assure value and benefits

Julie McGowan, PhD, Chairperson of AMIA's Public Policy Committee added that, "The work of the HIT Policy Committee is increasingly critical as more and more providers respond to the financial pressures and incentives to adopt electronic health records. AMIA and its members are especially interested in helping assure that the Committee considers the increasing body of knowledge, evidence, and experience that already exists about the use and application of health information technology and informatics to improve the quality of healthcare."

The full text of AMIA's comments is available at:

About AMIA

AMIA is the professional home for biomedical and health informatics. AMIA is dedicated to promoting the effective organization, analysis, management, and use of information in health care in support of patient care, public health, teaching, research, administration, and related policy. AMIA's 4,000 members advance the use of health information technology in clinical care and clinical research, personal health management, public health/population, and translational science with the ultimate objective of improving health. Complete information about AMIA is available at:

    Media Contact:      Whitney Kuhn
                        301-657-1291 ext. 105

SOURCE American Medical Informatics Association
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