After federal officials publish an interim rule on the “meaningful use” of electronic health records, the Health IT Standards Committee will use public comments to shape a final version of the rule, according to John Halamka, vice chair of the committee, Government Health IT reports.
Halamka spoke last week during the panel’s final meeting of the year.
The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT is scheduled to release interim certification standards on meaningful use by the end of the month. In addition, CMS is expected to publish guidance on the federal incentive payment programs.
During the standards panel meeting, Halamka said the committee strove to recommend meaningful use standards that would be amenable to health care organizations of different sizes and types.
The committee also pushed for data protection standards that align with the HIPAA privacy and security rule. The recommendations call for electronic health systems to authenticate identities, create an audit trail, encrypt and decrypt information and restrict access to authorized users.
When the committee returns to work in 2010, the group will continue its efforts to develop data standards, facilitate EHR adoption and reduce barriers to health IT, Halamka said (Mosquera, Government Health IT, 12/22).
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