NCPDP forms standards development organization

By Molly Merrill
09:37 AM

The National Council for Prescription Drug Programs, a not-for-profit pharmacy standards development organization, has formed a new group to help U.S. healthcare standards development organizations collaborate with each other. 

Officials say the Standards Charter Organization (SCO) will coordinate charter members to achieve true collaboration and harmonization of standards and interoperability that will support meaningful improvements in healthcare outcomes.

Goals of the SCO include:

  • Developing an executive forum and a process for senior leadership of the U.S. healthcare standards development community to have strategic and tactical dialogue, planning and collaboration across standards development organizations; and
  • Unifying and harmonizing healthcare industry standards to meet the interoperability and standards definition needs of all healthcare stakeholders.

Charter SCO members include the NCPDP, Health Level Seven (HL7), Accredited Standards Committee (ASC) X12, ASTM International and the Clinical Data Interchange Standards Consortium (CDISC). Other standards-related entities and formal observers include the Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange (WEDI), American National Standards Institute (ANSI), Federal Health Architecture (FHA), Health Information Technology Standards Panel (HITSP), Social Security Administration (SSA), Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE), US TAG and the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC).

"HL7 is honored to participate with our fellow standards development organizations in the newly-formed SCO. In this time of increased patient, policymaker and profiler expectations, it is critical that we work together," said HL7 Chief Technology Officer and SCO Chairman-elect John Quinn. "Only through group discussion and planned project action can we provide the enhanced insight required to reach the ambitious interoperability and standards harmonization goals set before us. National efforts to pull together electronic health record information in Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia and the Americas show us that the challenge is great and we must all make an effort to simplify the process."

John Klimek, the SCO's chairman and senior vice president of the NCPDP, added, "The healthcare industry has made great use of information technology to improve capabilities and reduce costs, but little work has been done amongst individual standards development organizations and affiliate organizations to integrate their standards into a seamless interoperable unit. Through the SCO and the foundational work accomplished in its summits over the past year, various industry standards development organizations and affiliate organizations are actively working together on methods to remove barriers and improve capabilities and efficiencies, which will result in more cost effective healthcare and ultimately better healthcare outcomes."

The NCPDP will serve as the SCO's secretary.

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