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White Paper Encourages HIM Participation in Interoperability Efforts

In collaboration with Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE), AHIMA unveiled a roadmap for the development of standards to support information governance (IG) in health care including national and international efforts to ensure interoperability among health information systems.

AHIMA is calling for comments on the white paper, Health IT Standards for Health Information Management Practices, which outlines an approach for cross-collaboration between HIM professionals, standards developers, and HIT vendors to support the capture, management, sharing, and use of electronic health information.

AHIMA developed the white paper with IHE, an international collaborative of HIT vendors and professional associations in health care, to promote the use of standards to achieve functional interoperability and effective use of health information systems, including EHR systems.

The white paper is part of AHIMA's globally focused IG initiative and marks a first-time effort for HIT vendors and HIM professionals to work together to ensure that interoperability will be addressed from an HIM perspective.

"We've created the methodology and the roadmap for developing interoperability standards to support information governance, ensuring that HIM principles and practices are represented in the collaboration between HIT vendors, professional associations, and government entities when crafting standards for interoperability," says Deborah Green, RHIA, MBA, chief innovation and global services officer. "Identifying HIM Practice needs and a means to address them in standards is the first step in achieving our shared goal of the interoperability and overall governance of health information."

Drawing on research indicating HIM professionals often encounter many challenges as they transition from the paper-based to an electronic system, the white paper does the following:

• outlines a methodology to engage HIM professionals in defining their needs for HIT products;

• offers a detailed analysis of HIM business requirements and best practices related to information availability, integrity, and protection;

• presents Use Cases that specify the HIT capabilities needed to support HIM practices; and

• defines a roadmap for expanding the list of Use Cases to support HIM business requirements in the development of standards.

"HIM is at the heart of IG practices and principles that ensure the integrity, access and security of patient health information," says AHIMA CEO Lynne Thomas Gordon, MBA, RHIA, CAE, FACHE, FAHIMA. "It is imperative that HIM and HIT professionals work together so HIM practices are included in HIT standards for IG. Together, we can achieve interoperability of health information."

Comments on the white paper will be accepted through July 19 and should be submitted here: IT Infrastructure Public Comments. The final white paper is expected to publish this fall and the Use Cases included will become a guide for developing interoperability standards.

Source: AHIMA