New NHIN standards website for vendors

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The federal government launched a new website to help vendors test their products for compliance with standards needed for participation in the National Health Information Network (NHIN).

The website was developed in partnership by the Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology (CCHIT), Healthcare Information Technology Standards Panel (HITSP), the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology. The website “provides HIT implementers with access to the tools and resources needed to support and test their implementation of standards-based health systems,” according to an email HITSP sent to its members and stakeholders.

The site currently provides information about the NHIN initiatives, CCHIT, HITSP, the interoperability specifications, the standards referenced by the specifications, and the available test resources.

According to John Halamka, MD, chairman of HITSP, the site will continue to evolve based on stakeholder input. "This website enables all stakeholders to implement HITSP standards, understand the roadmap for data interoperability and leverage all the work that has been done to create unambiguous interoperability specifications for consumer empowerment, lab and biosurveillance,” he said.

HITSP is encouraging feedback on the website by sending emails to:

In addition to the website launch, HITSP announced it expects to have an emergency responder electronic health record use case ready by late July for inspection. It also will complete privacy and security constructs to support all HITSP interoperability specifications published to date.

HITSP will hold a public comment period from July 23 to August 17 on several documents, including:

•    privacy and security constructs;
•    emergency responder electronic health record use cases; and
•    requirement, design and standards selection (RDSS) documents for two new use cases--consumer access to clinical information and quality measurement.