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AHIMA calls for a more ‘consistent approach to nationwide interoperability’

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CHICAGO – May 8, 2012 – The proposed rules for Stage 2 of the ARRA-HITECH Meaningful Use electronic health record systems (EHR) were the focus of two comment letters filed by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). The letters were provided to the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC).

While making clear in the letter to CMS its support of many CMS proposals, AHIMA stresses the need for consensus-based quality measurement reporting and calls for consistency among the various Stage 2 requirements for all federal programs whose requirements overlap with Meaningful Use.

The letter to ONC includes AHIMA’s recommendation that there should be a more “consistent approach to nationwide interoperability.”

“We advocate for a more defined national approach that would promote a consistent interoperability format,” said AHIMA CEO Lynne Thomas Gordon, MBA, RHIA, FACHE.  “Funding should be leveraged to support this initiative.”

Also in the ONC letter, AHIMA called for the proposed definition of a Base EHR to expand to include the ability to produce a health record for legal, business and disclosure purposes. This recommended definition would include patient demographic and clinical health information, have the capacity to provide clinical decision support, include physician order entry and integrate information from other sources while protecting the confidentiality, integrity and availability of health information.

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About AHIMA
Representing more than 64,000 specially educated Health Information Management professionals in the United States and around the world, the American Health Information Management Association is committed to promoting and advocating for high quality research, best practices and effective standards in health information and to actively contributing to the development and advancement of health information professionals worldwide. AHIMA’s enduring goal is quality healthcare through quality information. www.ahima.org


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