Timeline will show what's coming in health IT rules and standards

By Nancy zz_Ferris
01:00 AM
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Two health information technology organizations are collaborating on an online timeline that will display proposed health IT standards, regulations and related initiatives by federal agencies and national standards organizations.

The timeline is intended to help planners and systems developers work with forthcoming changes in the health IT environment, rather than being caught off guard.

The North Carolina Healthcare Information and Communications Alliance began the project in March 2005. Now it has joined forces with the Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange to enlarge and strengthen the timeline.

It will soon be available for download on the Web sites of both organizations. Users can view it in various formats.

To make more frequent updates possible, NCHICA and WEDI are seeking sponsors for the project, according to an announcement from the organizations. It described the timeline as "a tangible critical path schedule with assumptions that enable organizations to supplement and inform their internal implementation plans."

Among the kinds of initiatives that are being tracked are those relating to e-health records, personal health records and consumer-directed health plans.

"This effort will enable all parts of the industry to recognize how the many HIT efforts are interrelated, and how they can best implement the initiatives that are important to them. This will also enable policymakers to understand how changes in the schedule of one initiative will impact the others. In the past, these interrelationships have not been well understood," said Stanley Nachimson, principal of Nachimson Advisors and an adviser to WEDI.