AHIC discusses its future with supporters and resisters

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The American Health Information Community (AHIC) will meet today to discuss its future as a healthcare IT advisory committee.

Nancy Szemraj, communications and outreach manager of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONCHIT), said the webcast meeting will be full of updates on its transition to the private sector, or AHIC 2.0, by late fall 2008.

At a Sept. 9 meeting ONCHIT chief, Robert Kolodner, MD, said the continuity of leadership is needed to sustain the momentum AHIC has gained over the past 24 months.

Justin Barnes, of the EHR Vendor Association board, said he is “extremely passionate” about the transition, but does not agree with the lack of representation proposed for vendors in AHIC 2.0.

Randall Oates, MD, family practice physician in Fayetteville, Ark., and president of SOAPware, an EHR company, said he is concerned that AHIC will be run by a niche group that will be disconnected from “the constituency that really matters,” the 75 percent of physicians without healthcare IT and their patients.

Oates believes that physicians at small group practices and their patients need to be represented more fully in AHIC 2.0.