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Nationwide IT system HHS' top goal for 2008


By Jean DerGurahian
Posted: January 9, 2008 - 12:01 am ET
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HHS' healthcare information technology initiatives over the next year will focus on delivering a nationwide interoperable, private and secure IT infrastructure, according to the federal agency.

In a written statement outlining its results for 2007, HHS also detailed goals through 2009, which include the ongoing transition of the American Health Information Community to a public-private partnership to oversee activities by the Healthcare Information Technology Standards Panel and the Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology. The AHIC successor will be responsible for prioritizing standards and certification processes. While HHS' federal health architecture group will help other government agencies implement standards, the external national health information network will guide organizations across the country in adopting interoperable standards, HHS said.

HHS currently has nine participating entities for the first demonstration of health information exchange, planned for September 2008. The agency hopes to bring in more participants this year as well. The NHIN is working on developing a common technical approach, guaranteeing privacy, security and integrity of information, and ensuring ongoing maintenance for the nationwide exchange of healthcare data.

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