HIMSS, AHIMA, IHE map data governance strategies

'To achieve interoperability, HIM and HIT professionals must each share their perspectives'
By Mike Miliard
11:11 AM
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digital data

Seeking to better align health IT standards with health information management practices, three industry groups joined forces for a new report aimed at speeding standards-based interoperability.

HIMSS, AHIMA and IHE 
call Health IT Standards for Health Information Management Practices, a "first-of-its-kind" report that's meant to be a guide for those HIM and health IT professionals working to develop interoperability standards.

It aims to enlighten standards developers about information management practices and show how to better align them with health information technology. It will also serve as a roadmap of sorts for the development of standards to support information governance, including efforts in the U.S. and abroad to ensure semantic, technical and functional interoperability among information systems.

"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," said AHIMA CEO Lynne Thomas Gordon, in a statement. "This inaugural collaboration with IHE has produced a great resource for our industry, and we're excited to continue our work together."

AHIMA, HIMSS and IHE International developed the white paper as part of AHIMA's information governance initiative. In a unique collaboration, vendors and HIM professionals worked together on the report to help ensure interoperability is approached with the HIM perspective in mind and to promote standards-based "rules of the road" for electronic health records and other health IT.

The white paper offers an overview of HIM practices related to information governance; detailed analysis of HIM business requirements and best practices; five use cases derived from these business requirements and best practices for the information availability; a glossary of key terms; an initial gap analysis of existing HIT standards to support HIM business requirements under three governance principles (information availability, integrity and protection) and recommendations for HIM community and standards development organizations for further standardization of both HIM practices as well as capabilities of HIT products.

The collaborative "allowed us to share valuable knowledge on standards development and health information exchange as we developed this white paper," said Mari Greenberger, director, informatics at HIMSS, in a statement. "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 healthcare community."