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HITSP Defines Overarching Set of Healthcare Security and Privacy Standards

WASHINGTON, Oct. 23 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Healthcare Information Technology Standards Panel (HITSP) has identified a set of standards and specifications that will help to keep patient medical information secure in an electronic environment. The standards will also help to assure that this information will only be used by authorized personnel for official purposes.

The HITSP's work on an overarching security and privacy architecture is the latest in a series of important steps to assure the interoperability of electronic health records in the United States. The newly defined set of standards, referred to as the "security and privacy constructs," will address common data protection issues in a broad range of subject areas, including electronic delivery of lab results to a clinician, medication workflow for providers and patients, quality, and consumer empowerment.

Identified by the Office of the National Coordinator for Healthcare Information Technology (ONCHIT) as a primary prerequisite for the exchange of clinical information between authorized healthcare organizations, the constructs are expected to help improve coordinated quality care, reduce errors, and control unnecessary costs.

"Privacy and security are fundamental to health information exchange," said Dr. John Halamka, HITSP chair and chief information officer and associate professor of emergency medicine at Harvard Medical School. "At HITSP, we will be incorporating all of these security standards into our past, present, and future interoperability specifications."

Approved on October 15, 2007, the constructs include input received during a recent public review and comment period. Interested parties may review the approved set of standards and specifications by following the "HITSP Security and Privacy Documents" link on the HITSP webpage (

Questions regarding the panel's approval process may be addressed to Michelle Maas Deane, HITSP secretariat, at Industry experts interested in participating in the work of the HITSP and one or more of its technical committees may contact Jessica Kant, standards harmonization coordinator, Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) at


Operating under contract to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the HITSP is administered by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) in cooperation with strategic partners including the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), the Advanced Technology Institute (ATI) and Booz Allen Hamilton. The HITSP delivered its first set of formal recommendations (i.e., Interoperability Specifications) to the American Health Information Community (AHIC) in October 2006.

About ANSI

ANSI is a private non-profit organization whose mission is to enhance U.S. global competitiveness and the American quality of life by promoting, facilitating, and safeguarding the integrity of the voluntary standardization and conformity assessment system. The Institute currently administers five standards panels in the areas of healthcare information technology, biofuels, homeland security, nanotechnology, and identity theft prevention and identity management.

SOURCE American National Standards Institute
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