HHS names health IT standards group

The Health and Human Services Department has announced the members of a public-private group that will decide on standards and uses for health IT to enable physicians to exchange medical information.

The 16 members of the American Health Information Community include federal and state executives, company CEOs and representatives of the health care industry. HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt, who will be the chairman of the panel, released details of the national collaboration in June.

The work AHIC will perform to select interoperability standards is designed to advance the implementation of electronic health records, which promise to improve the quality of health care, reduce medical errors and cut costs.

“The community will adhere to an aggressive timetable that focuses on the areas of critical need, such as adverse drug event reporting and biosurveillance, as we get about the work of developing, setting and certifying standards,” Leavitt said.

AHIC’s first meeting, which is open to the public, is set for Oct. 7 in Washington, D.C. Additional information is available online.

“The public-private nature of this group is designed to ensure that this nationwide transition to electronic health records—including common standards and interoperability—occurs in a smooth, market-led way,” said David Brailer, HHS’ national coordinator for health IT.

AHIC, formed under the auspices of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, will be chartered for two years, with the option to renew and a duration of no more than five years. HHS intends for the group to be succeeded within five years by a private-sector health information community initiative that would set additional needed standards, certify health IT for standards compliance and provide long-term governance for health care transformation.

The AHIC members are:
  • Scott P. Serota, President and CEO, Blue Cross Blue Shield Association

  • Douglas E. Henley, M.D., Executive Vice President, American Academy of Family Physicians

  • Lillee Smith Gelinas, R.N., Chief Nursing Officer, VHA Inc.

  • Charles N. Kahn III, President, Federation of American Hospitals

  • Nancy Davenport-Ennis, CEO, National Patient Advocate Foundation

  • Steven S. Reinemund, CEO and Chairman, PepsiCo

  • Kevin D. Hutchinson, CEO, SureScripts

  • Craig R. Barrett, Chairman, Intel Corp.

  • E. Mitchell Roob, Secretary, Indiana Family and Social Services Administration

  • Mark B. McClellan, M.D., Administrator, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

  • Julie Louise Gerberding, M.D., Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

  • Jonathan B. Perlin, M.D., Under Secretary for Health, Veterans Affairs Department

  • William Winkenwerder Jr., M.D., Assistant Secretary of Defense, Defense Department

  • Mark J. Warshawsky, Assistant Secretary for Economic Policy, Treasury Department

  • Linda M. Springer, Director, Office of Personnel Management

  • Michelle O’Neill, Acting Under Secretary for Technology, Commerce Department

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