HITSP and Vendors
The Healthcare Information Technology Standards Panel (HITSP) is developing Interoperability Specifications (IS) that are changing the face of patient care.
Operating under contract to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), HITSP has been working since late 2005 to define the technical standards necessary to assure the interoperability of electronic health records in the United States. Priorities for the Panel’s work are established by the American Health Information Community (AHIC).
In January 2008, HHS Secretary Michael O. Leavitt recognized HITSP’s first set of recommended standards, known as Interoperability Specifications (IS), addressing needs in the areas of Electronic Health Records (EHR), biosurveillance, and consumer empowerment. Agencies administering or sponsoring federal health programs are now required to implement the standards.
The vendor community has followed these activities with interest, as the Secretary’s recognition of a new IS can have a tremendous impact on existing HIT systems, software, and hardware.
Active engagement in the HITSP process helps vendors to understand what the latest recognized IS means for their product line, and even gives them a leg up on product development to support future ISs. Some vendors – known as “early implementers” – have already demonstrated how their updated systems support the interoperable exchange of healthcare data.
HITSP.org makes it easy for vendors to follow the development of an IS and its associated Constructs. But participation as a HITSP member is the only way to influence the development of these documents.