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Quality Digest

FDA Compliance

National Alliance to Advance Electronic Health Records

Published: Tuesday, June 21, 2005 - 22:00

Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt recently announced of a national private-public collaboration to advance the use of electronic health records and interoperability through established standards. The American Health Information Community will aid in the nationwide transition to electronic health records, which are digital collections of patients’ medical history and health characteristics. The AHIC will be formed under the auspices of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, and will provide input and recommendations to HHS on how to make the records interoperable, while assuring patient privacy.

“The national strategy for achieving interoperability of digital health information is for federal agencies—which pay for more than one-third of all health care in the country—to work with private-sector health care providers and employers in developing and adopting an architecture, standards and certification process,” says Leavitt. “The use of electronic health records and other information technology will transform our health care system by reducing medical errors, minimizing paperwork hassles, lowering costs and improving quality of care.”

HHS will solicit nominations for people to serve on the AHIC. Secretary Leavitt will appoint up to 17 committee members and will serve as chairperson. The committee will be chartered for two years; the maximum time it will be used will be five years. After that, the appointed committee will be replaced by a private-sector health information community initiative that will set additional standards, certify new health information technology and provide long-term governance for health care transformation.

For more information, visit www.hhs.gov/healthit.


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