The American Health Information Community will create a seventh work group specifically to advise the federal government on policy regarding the role of healthcare information technology in the burgeoning field of genetic testing.
AHIC, an advisory panel formed last year by HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt, approved creation of the new work group at its meeting today in Washington.
According to David Brailer, co-chairman of AHIC along with Leavitt, the new group should:
• Survey existing efforts in the field of genetic testing to develop or influence standards and compile the results of that survey to determine whether their are gaps or overlap in standards development.
• Propose a role for the federally funded Health Information Technology Standards Panel in identifying standards for government support.
• Develop a plan on how genomic standards should be employed in the next two years.
• Work with AHIC privacy and security work group in carrying forward with the standards.
• Create two proposed use cases, with an eye toward using IT to incorporate genetic test results so they would have a direct impact on patient care.
Leavitt tasked the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information to develop a proposed organizational structure for the new work group, along with a mission and candidates for membership for final approval at the next AHIC meeting scheduled for Dec. 12.
Joseph Conn first reported the creation of the genetics work group in the Oct. 16 edition of Modern Healthcare magazine.