ONCHIT moves forward with HIT definitions project

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Dec. 5 – As part of a project for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONCHIT) to remove barriers to information technology adoption in healthcare, co-chairs and members have been named to two work groups that will create consensus-based definitions and context of use for five key HIT terms. The work groups held their first meetings on Nov. 30 to lay out action plans and timetables.

Along with ONCHIT and the management and technology consulting firm BearingPoint, The National Alliance for Health Information Technology said they selected participants with extensive healthcare industry experience, practical experience with healthcare IT such as EHRs and RHIOs, and previous contribution to a large industry work group, committee or standards project.

The leaders of the Records Work Group, which will focus on EHR, EMR and personal health record, are: John Haughom, MD, senior vice president, clinical quality and patient safety, PeaceHealth, and chairman, and Donald Mon, PhD, vice president, practice leadership, American Health Information Management Association, co-chairman.

The co-chairs for the Networks Work Group, which will focus on RHIO and HIE, are: Bill Bernstein, Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, and Pamela Matthews, RN, MBA, FHIMSS, senior director business information systems, HIMSS.

As part of the process, the work groups are seeking industry input from public forums to be convened in December, January and February as well as from public comments submitted during that period at www.definitions.nahit.org. The work groups will submit their final report to ONCHIT by March 28, 2008.