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Leading Health Care and Information Technology Groups Endorse Common Framework for Health Information Exchange

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  • From: "Lauren B. Kallens" <>
  • To: <>
  • Subject: Leading Health Care and Information Technology Groups Endorse Common Framework for Health Information Exchange
  • Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2005 14:57:55 -0500

Leading Health Care and Information Technology Groups Endorse Common
Framework for Health Information Exchange to Support Improvements in Health
and Healthcare

Thirteen Groups Collaborate in Responding to Federal Government's RFI on
National Health Information Network

January 18, 2005 - New York, NY and Washington D.C. - Thirteen major health
and information technology organizations, in an unprecedented joint
collaboration, today endorsed a "Common Framework" to support improved
health information exchange in the United States while protecting patient
privacy. The collaborating organizations have identified the vital design
elements -- of standards, policies, and methods -- for creating a new
information environment that would allow health care professionals,
institutions, and individual Americans to exchange health information in
order to improve patient care. These recommendations were developed in
response to the Request for Information related to a "National Health
Information Network" issued by the U.S. Office of the National Coordinator
for Health Information Technology (ONCHIT) within the Department of Health
and Human Services in November 2004.

The collaborative foresees a new health information environment that would
allow appropriate users to find, request and retrieve patient records
rapidly and accurately, subject to patient authorization. This decentralized
approach takes advantage of the significant investment already made in
information technology in U.S. health care, protects the privacy of patient
information, and allows rapid progress toward providing Americans with more
reliable, higher quality care. The recommended approach does not require
centralized national databases, replacement of existing information
networks, or a unique national health identifier.

The new health information environment should be based on:

-- Open, consensus-driven and non-proprietary standards and common methods
for their adoption

-- Connectivity built on the Internet and other existing networks

-- Uniform policies that protect privacy, assure security, and support
existing trust relationships.

The collaborative also recommends the use of financial incentives for the
adoption of standards-based information technology in health care, citing
opportunities to leverage this environment to produce value for patients,
consumers, professionals, researchers, the public health community and,
indeed, all sectors of our health care system. Finally, the recommendations
describe the roles and structure of both the national and regional elements
of this environment.

The collaborators noted that the new information environment must:

-- Facilitate effective connectivity for the delivery of high quality

-- Provide timely access to information

-- Empower patients to access and control their own information and
contribute to the quality of care provided

-- Support the application of "intelligent" tools to improve health and
health care

-- Facilitate the appropriate aggregation of data for public health,
research, and quality assessment, and

-- Enable improvements in the quality of clinical care.

The group, coordinated by Connecting for Health, represents America's
clinical leadership, academic institutions, health insurance plans, private
industry, consumer and patient leaders, technology vendors, employers, and
some of the foremost experts on health information management and
information technology and includes:

-- The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA): the
national association of health information management professionals. AHIMA's
50,000 members are dedicated to the effective management of personal health
information needed to deliver quality healthcare to the public.

-- The American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA): AMIA is dedicated to
the development and application of medical informatics in support of patient
care, teaching, research, and health care administration.

-- The American National Standards Institute, Healthcare Informatics
Standards Board (ANSI HISB): ANSI HISB provides an open, public forum for
the voluntary coordination of healthcare informatics standards among all
United States standard-developing organizations, professional societies,
trade associations, private companies, federal agencies and others with more
than 100 participants.

-- The Center for Information Technology Leadership (CITL): CITL is a
non-profit research group based at Partners HealthCare in Boston and
supported by HIMSS that assesses the value of clinical information
technologies to help provider organizations maximize the value of their IT
investments, to help technology firms understand how to improve the value
proposition of their healthcare products, and to inform national healthcare
IT policy discussions.

-- The Connecting for Health Steering Group (CFH): Connecting for Health...A
Public Private Collaborative was conceived and is operated by the Markle
Foundation and receives additional support from The Robert Wood Johnson
Foundation. The Steering Group includes more than 60 diverse stakeholders
from the public and private sector, committed to accelerating actions on a
national basis to tackle the technical, financial and policy challenges of
bringing healthcare into the information age.

-- The eHealth Initiative (eHI): eHI is an independent, non-profit
consortium of practicing clinicians, employers and healthcare purchasers,
health plans, healthcare information technology vendors, hospitals and other
healthcare providers, manufacturers, patient and consumer organizations, and
public health agencies, whose mission is to improve the quality, safety and
efficiency of healthcare through information and information technology.

-- The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS): HIMSS
is the healthcare industry's membership organization exclusively focused on
providing leadership for the optimal use of healthcare information
technology and management systems for the betterment of human health.

-- Health Level Seven, Inc. (HL7): HL7's comprehensive suite of ANSI
accredited standards for the exchange of demographic and clinical
information provides the syntax and semantics for interoperability in a
large number of provider organizations in the United States and around the

-- HIMSS EHR Vendor Association (EHRVA): EHRVA represents more than 25
Electronic Health Record (EHR) vendors with a mission to address national
efforts relative to health information interoperability, standards, EHR
certification, performance and quality measures, and other evolving
government, industry and physician association initiatives and requests.

-- Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE), (American College of
Cardiology, Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, and
Radiological Society of North America): IHE drives standards adoption to
address specific clinical needs, by creating a framework for passing vital
health information seamlessly - from application to application, system to
system and setting to setting - across the entire healthcare enterprise.

-- Internet2: Internet2 is a consortium led by over 200 universities working
in partnership with industry and government to develop and deploy advanced
network applications and technologies, accelerating the creation of
tomorrow's Internet for a broad spectrum of organizations, including those
in the health sciences.

-- The Liberty Alliance Project: Liberty Alliance is a consortium of more
than 150 organizations from across the globe, committed to developing open
standards for federated network identity that support all current and
emerging network devices.

-- The National Alliance for Health Information Technology: The Alliance is
a diverse partnership of influential leaders from all healthcare sectors
working to achieve measurable improvements in patient safety, quality and
efficiency through information technology.

For the full press release:

  • Leading Health Care and Information Technology Groups Endorse Common Framework for Health Information Exchange, Lauren B. Kallens, 01/19/2005

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