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HHS Secretary Recognizes Products of HITSP Standards Work
Date:1/24/2008

WASHINGTON, Jan. 24 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Mike Leavitt recognized the first set of interoperability standards developed by the Healthcare Information Technology Standards Panel (HITSP; http://www.hitsp.org). The HITSP advanced three of its "Interoperability Specifications" to help support the advancement of interoperable health records and a Nationwide Health Information Network in the United States aimed toward improved and more efficient care.

HHS Secretarial recognition of interoperability standards is referenced in an Executive Order (E.O. 13410) signed by President George W. Bush in August 2006 and promotes standards to be implemented in new and upgraded federal health systems. These standards will also become part of the certification process for electronic health records and networks.

"Safe and affordable healthcare depends upon the secure exchange of information among patients, providers, payers and government entities such as public health agencies," explained Dr. John Halamka, HITSP chair and CIO of Harvard Medical School.

The HITSP "Interoperability Specifications," which pertain to three initial priority work areas ("Use Cases") assigned to the Panel by the American Heath Information Community (AHIC), were accepted by Secretary Leavitt in December 2006 as interoperability standards in these areas:

-- Electronic Health Record (EHR) (e.g., the electronic delivery of lab results to providers of care),

-- Biosurveillance (e.g., data networks supporting the rapid alert to a disease outbreak), and

-- Consumer Empowerment (e.g., giving patients the ability to manage and control access to their registration and medication histories).

Each Interoperability Specification is an unambiguous "cookbook" that identifies the "named" standards and provides implementation guidance to all st
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SOURCE American National Standards Institute
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