Mark Leavitt, M.D., chairman of the federally supported Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology, will serve as co-chairman along with Paul Tang, M.D., vice president and chief medical information officer of the Palo Alto (Calif.) Medical Foundation, of the newly created CCHIT task force on personal health-record systems. The group was established as a first move by CCHIT to set up a certification program for PHRs, according to C. Sue Reber, communications director for the commission. The task force is to provide the commission and the work group with some strategic guidance, give the commission some information they might want to consider as they begin this new development process, Reber said. Chief among them is the scope of the work. Should you really be certifying functionality when there are so many products out there? But it might not be a bad idea to look at interoperability and security. Discussion around privacy and security is quite elevated at this point. If all goes well, we will be launching that program in 2009, she said. The two newest and biggest PHR players, Microsoft Corp. and Google, both have their people on the PHR Advisory Task Force in Michael Stokes, representing Microsoft, which launched its HealthVault PHR platform last fall, and Missy Krasner, the former aid to David Brailer, M.D., at the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology at HHS, now with Google, which debuted its Google Health platform in February. Other PHR panel members are: Abha Agrawal, M.D., Kings County Hospital Center, Brooklyn, N.Y.; Richard Benoit, Intel Digital Health Group; Lorraine Doo, Office of e-Health Standards and Services at CMS; Steve Findlay, Consumers Union; Meighan Girgus, American Heart Association; Theresa Hancock, Veterans and Consumers Health Informatics Office, Veterans Affairs Department; Leslie Harris, Center for Democracy and Technology; Steve Lampkin, Wal-Mart; Holly Miller, M.D., University Hospitals, Cleveland; Don Mon, American Health Information Management Association; Anna Lisa Silvestre, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan; Michael Ubl, and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota. CCHIT also recently commissioned a larger, PHR work group to deal with technical issues and a work group to look at behavioral health products.
Leavitt, Mark, M.D.; and Tang, Paul, M.D.
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