HITSP and Healthcare Providers
The Healthcare Information Technology Standards Panel (HITSP) is helping healthcare providers change the face of patient care.
When it comes to the exchange of patient health data, there are some bumps on the information superhighway. The appropriate technology exists. The appropriate health data exists. But transferring data among care providers, laboratories, pharmacies, insurance companies and others in the healthcare network is hindered by the use of disparate systems.
The Healthcare Information Technology Standards Panel (HITSP) has been commissioned by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to assist in the development of a standards-based network that will support the nationwide exchange of healthcare data.
By making electronic health records more easily accessible and transferable – while also protecting the security and privacy of personal data – healthcare professionals can partner with their patients to make better informed decisions about treatments, prescriptions and healthcare or lifestyle choices.
Everyone has a role to play in shaping this new IT infrastructure. The voices of doctors, nurses and technicians; laboratories; hospitals; and other healthcare providers must combine with patient and consumer representatives to define healthcare data needs. These needs must then be communicated to those who are involved in the administration of healthcare systems, including insurers and government health programs.
These groups, in turn, are partnering with vendors and standard-setting organizations to develop and harmonize the “next generation” software applications that will transmit personal health data safely and quickly across a nationwide network.
HITSP was formed in late 2005 by a contract of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and reports to the HHS’ Office of the National Coordinator of Health Information Technology. Priorities for the Panel’s work are established by the American Heath Information Community (AHIC), an advisory body to the Secretary of HHS that makes recommendations to the Secretary about how to accelerate adoption of interoperable health IT in a smooth, market-led way.
Since its formation, the Panel has already completed work to support the electronic delivery of lab results to a clinician, data networks for the early detection and rapid response to a public health threat, and patient management and control of their registration and medication histories. Security and privacy specifications address common data protection issues across these and related areas such as medication workflow and quality.
Each of the HITSP work products will have a tremendous impact upon the way that hospitals, laboratories, clinical research facilities, pharmacists, practitioners, and other providers of patient care manage their workflow and organize their data.
By engaging in or actively monitoring HITSP standardization activities, the purchasers of healthcare IT equipment will also gain an early understanding of the latest technological advancements and better prepare themselves for upcoming changes to organizational systems.
There is a role to play for everyone. HITSP operates in an open and transparent manner. Everyone with an interest in healthcare information technology activities is invited to participate directly in HITSP activities, either as a member of by participating in the public review and comment of HITSP’s proposed work products.