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Data & Technical Standards: Other Standards Activities

The Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) signed an agreement in 2003 to license a standardized medical vocabulary developed by the College of American Pathologists available for free use in the United States. The College's SNOMED (Systematized Nomenclature of Medicine) Clinical Terms creates a common clinical language that is a necessary element of a health care information infrastructure. Click here to access SNOMED CT online.

International Health Terminology Standards Development Organization (IHTSDO)

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has joined an international effort to promote more rapid development and worldwide adoption of standard clinical terminology for electronic health records. HHS is one of nine charter members of the new International Health Terminology Standards Development Organization (IHTSDO), which has acquired SNOMED CT® from the College of American Pathologists (CAP). The IHTSDO will:

  • Create new opportunities for international collaboration in research and public health surveillance
  • Provide a better basis for making standard terminology available in developing countries
  • Align SNOMED CT with key international public health standards, including those produced by the World Health Organization
  • Benefit current and potential U.S. customers

Click here for more information

Federal Adoption of Standards for Health IT (FAST)

Federal Adoption of Standards for health IT (FAST) supports coordinated review, analysis, architectural integration, and educational awareness of health interoperability standards.

The FAST initiative’s tasks include:

  • Interagency support and facilitation of federally managed standards communications
  • Cross-agency collaboration on various aspects of the standards lifecycle, including use case review, HITSP requirements, design and standards selection (RDSS) and interoperability specifications, and standards lifecycle education

FHA Consolidated Health Informatics (CHI)

The Consolidated Health Informatics Initiative (CHI) has been a high-level, collaborative segment of the Federal Health Architecture (FHA) program tasked with establishing a portfolio of existing and commonly used clinical vocabularies and messaging standards for Federal partners.

CHI’s accomplishments include:

  • The recommendation of more than 20 health IT standards
  • Forwarding these standards to the HITSP
  • The integration of these standards with HITSP efforts, adopted by agencies, and incorporated into procurements
  • The facilitation of federal agency participation in the HITSP Technical Committees and coordinated the submission of federal comments on the HITSP Standards Gap & Overlap Analyses produced by the Biosurveillance, Consumer Empowerment, and Electronic Health Records Technical Committees

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Upcoming Events

HL7 22nd Plenary and Working Group Meeting
Vancouver, B.C.
September 14 - 19, 2008
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AHIC September Meeting
Washington, DC
September 23, 2008
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Personal Experiences

"We have hospitals in Afghanistan and Iraq, and many of the soldiers would arrive without records in Germany, with no record of the CAT scans or what happened in surgery in Afghanistan or Iraq. The clinicians in Germany would have to re-operate on the patient, would have to redo all their x-ray evaluations, CAT scans, etc...." ~ Colonel John Holcomb

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