Change in the works for standards panel

'We are counting on the Standards Committee to keep us straight on what's ready for prime time.'
By Diana Manos
10:11 AM
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Jonathn Perlin, MD, steps down as chairman of the federal HIT standards panel

With the maturing of the meaningful use incentive program, federal advisory groups are beginning to re-evaluate their roles and the best way to support providers moving forward.

At the April 24 HIT Standards Committee meeting, federal officials announced changes in leadership along with proposals about how the organization might reconfigure itself.

National Coordinator Karen DeSalvo, MD launched the meeting with some leadership changes, including the stepping down of Jonathan Perlin, MD, chair of the committee and chief medical officer and president of clinical services at Hospital Corporation of America. 

Perlin will be replaced by Jacob Reider, MD, former acting national coordinator for health IT and ONC's chief medical officer.

John Halamka, MD, CIO of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, will retain his position as vice-chair of the committee.

Committee members discussed potential changes to the group that will focus on supporting meaningful users of EHRs, moving away from designing standards for the various stages of meaningful use, as they have in the past. 

“We’re trying to find a way — now that we’ve got a couple of years under our belts — how to go forward and be productive and really start driving the conversation around the standards,” said Doug Fridsma, MD, director of ONC's Office of Science and Technology.

[See also: Setting standards takes true grit.]

According to Fridsma, ONC's vision for the HIT Standards Committee includes:

  • Helping meaningful users continue to be successful, including setting up value sets so they are consistent;
  • Expanding existing standards sets and extending them out to include payment reform;
  • Making sure standards stay fresh, to encompass the latest technology, including mobile apps and devices.

Fridsma and other leaders emphasized the need for increased coordination between the HIT Standards Committee and the HIT Policy Committee.

“When thinking about how to support the ongoing work of the HIT Standards Committee, we’re trying to figure out a way we can matrix work coming out of the HIT Policy Committee,” Fridsma said.

DeSalvo, who chairs the HIT Policy Committee, said her group is relying heavily on the Standards Committee.

“We are counting on the Standards Committee to keep us straight on what's ready for prime time," she said.

[See also: Providers welcome meaningful use relief.]