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[ontolog-forum] American Health Information Community (AHIC) - advisory

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, "[health-ont]" <health-ont@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "Peter P. Yim" <peter.yim@xxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 09 Jun 2005 22:31:28 -0700
Message-id: <42A925B0.3040806@xxxxxxxx>
prompted by discussion at today's Ontolog conference call, I've found 
this article on the Federal Computer Week, and would like to share it here:    (01)

Source: http://www.fcw.com/article89144-06-09-05-Web    (02)

*Leavitt: Feds to be early adopters of new standards*
by Nancy Ferris
Jun. 9, 2005    (03)

Federal agencies will pioneer the adoption of standards developed by a 
new federal health information advisory committee, Health and Human 
Services Secretary Mike Leavitt said earlier this month.    (04)

In a series of speeches in New York and Washington, D.C., Leavitt 
announced the creation of a 17-member advisory committee, called the 
American Health Information Community. Leavitt, chairman of the 
committee, said members will be announced soon to represent “every point 
of view” about health information technology.    (05)

Members will include representatives of the Defense and Veterans Affairs 
departments, ensuring that those agencies have a major voice in the 
selection of standards. The departments have the largest health 
information systems in the nation.    (06)

“We’re going to harmonize federal efforts,” he said. The National 
Institute of Standards and Technology will review the standards and 
issue additional ones for federal agencies. When government users adopt 
the standards, he said he hopes the large private insurance companies 
and others will do likewise.    (07)

The commission is expected to develop a process for selecting standards 
and an architecture for the national network, but Leavitt also wants it 
to get the ball rolling by setting up networks for specific functions 
that can be operational in a matter of months. “An adverse drug event 
reporting system would be a natural,” he said, and also suggested lab 
results and bioterrorism surveillance as candidate applications.    (08)

He said establishing ways to exchange health records and a national 
health information network may not be enough to overcome reluctance 
among physicians and others to stop relying on paper medical records.    (09)

“We’re going to take on the adoption gap. We have to,” he said. “I’ll 
have more to say about that in the weeks to come.”    (010)

Many people have suggested that doctors should be rewarded with higher 
Medicare reimbursements or other financial incentives for abandoning 
paper records.
--    (011)

There's an official announcement, along with terms of reference and 
other details, from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health 
Information Technology (ONCHIT) on the Dept. of Health & Human Services 
website too -- see: http://www.os.dhhs.gov/healthit/ahic.html    (012)

Of particular interest, is the last paragraph that reads:    (013)

..."HHS will solicit nominations for people to serve on the AHIC and 
Secretary Leavitt will appoint up to 17 commission members, as well as 
serve as chairperson. Please send all nominations for the AHIC via email 
with a letter of intent and resume to onchit.request@xxxxxxx 
<mailto:onchit.request@xxxxxxx>, and include in the subject line "AHIC 
Nomination."    (014)

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