AHIMA, HIMSS, and Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE) International published "Health IT Standards for Health Information Management Practices," a first-of-its-kind white paper that serves as a guide for those HIM and HIT professionals working to develop interoperability standards.
The white paper informs HIT standards developers about HIM practices. It also outlines how to align HIM practices with the capabilities of HIT products through standards application in technology.
In addition, the white paper unveils a roadmap for the development of standards to support information governance (IG) in health care, including national and international efforts to ensure semantic, technical and functional interoperability among health information systems. Developed by the subject matter experts from an AHIMA HIM Practice Task Force in collaboration with HIT vendors, the draft white paper received about 150 comments during a public comment period in June/July from the HIM community and HIT professionals whose input was incorporated into the final paper.
AHIMA, HIMSS, and IHE International developed the white paper as part of AHIMA's globally focused IG initiative. For the first time HIT vendors and HIM professionals have worked together to ensure that interoperability will be addressed from an HIM perspective. Together, HIM and HIT professionals are promoting the use of standards to achieve functional interoperability ("rules of the road") and effective use of health information systems, including EHRs.
"To achieve interoperability, HIM and HIT professionals must each share their perspectives and determine how to bring the pieces together into a cohesive program that allows information to be used effectively throughout its lifecycle," says AHIMA CEO Lynne Thomas Gordon, MBA, RHIA, CAE, FACHE, FAHIMA. "This inaugural collaboration with IHE has produced a great resource for our industry, and we're excited to continue our work together."
"This collaborative effort with our three organizations—HIMSS, IHE International, and AHIMA - allowed us to share valuable knowledge on standards development and health information exchange as we developed this white paper," says Mari Greenberger, MPPA, director of informatics for HIMSS North America. "Building on our current efforts in defining and developing use cases for secure exchange of health data, HIMSS recognizes the importance of and need for this ongoing alignment to provide information that is useful and drive meaningful outcomes to the health care community."