Uncertain Future for HITSP

Posted on February 3, 2010 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

One of my regular readers and commenters, DKBerry, sent me some extracts on an article by Modern Healthcare about HITSP. DKBerry also commented, “HITSP is still operational through 30 April. Despite the extension question to its future is going to hurt its mission IMO.” I think HITSP does face a very uncertain future. Here are the excerpts from the article:

“It appears the Healthcare Information Technology Standards Panel, or HITSP, has become yet another organization formed at the behest of the Bush administration that is being forced to reapply for its job under the federal government’s new heath IT authority.

“That contract was set to expire Jan. 31, but HHS issued a “no-cost extension” to the contract through April 30, according to HITSP Chairman John Halamka, a physician who is chief information officer at 621-bed Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and at Harvard Medical School, Boston.”

“Halamka said the HHS contract extension through April will enable HITSP “to have a presence at the upcoming HIMSS conference (scheduled to run March 1-4 in Atlanta) and support the quality reporting activities being demonstrated in the Interoperability Showcase there.”

In addition, HITSP will host “informational conference calls” over the next few months and its Foundations Harmonization Subcommittee set a schedule of three meetings, the first being today at 10:30 a.m. ET, with two more Feb. 8 and Feb. 17 to wrap up its work.

“HITSP is not done; the lights are on,” said Liz Neiman, an ANSI spokeswoman. HITSP and healthcare IT interoperability are “a tremendous priority for ANSI,” Neiman said. “Absolutely, we’ll be going for any RFP that’s coming out. What’s really important for us is to keep the momentum going.”