To ensure that a broad spectrum of voices in the information technology industry is heard when minimum electronic medical-records standards are set, the Chicago-based Healthcare Information Management Systems Society has formed an advisory committee to provide comment to the Certification Commission for Health Information Technology that HIMSS helped found earlier this year.
HIMSS, the American Health Information Management Association and the National Alliance for Health Information Technology, also based in Chicago, joined in July to form the Certification Commission for Health Information Technology.
The goal of the commission is to create a process by which healthcare IT can be checked and evaluated for interoperability "with emerging local and national health information infrastructures." Setting a certification procedure for electronic medical-records systems for physician offices is the group's first target.
David Brailer, M.D., HHS' national healthcare information technology coordinator, had asked the private sector to come up with a certification procedure as a precursor to any government help in paying for the installation of clinical IT systems.
About 65 representatives from the new IT advisory group met earlier this month in Washington at the initial gathering of the committee.
The IT vendor community has three members on the 14-member certification commission: Andrew Ury, M.D., founder and president of Seattle-based Physician Micro Systems; Graham King, retired president of McKesson Information Solutions and currently an adviser to the company; and Mark Leavitt, M.D., chief medical officer at HIMSS.
In addition to Ury and Leavitt, five other physicians are on the commission: Douglas Henley, executive vice president and CEO of the American Academy of Family Physicians; John Tooker, executive vice president and CEO of the American College of Physicians; C. Martin Harris, chief information officer of the Cleveland Clinic Foundation; Charles Kennedy, vice president of clinical informatics for WellPoint Health Networks, Thousand Oaks, Calif.; and Reed Tuckson, senior vice president of consumer health and medical care advancement, UnitedHealth Group, Minnetonka, Minn.