Blumenthal wants 'meaningful use' standards to work with NHIN

Lest the health IT industry be stuck with competing standards yet again, National Coordinator for Health IT Dr. David Blumenthal says he intends to harmonize standards for "meaningful use" of electronic health records within the framework of the planned Nationwide Health Information Network. Speaking at a users group for NHIN-Connect, the open-source software that supports NHIN development, Blumenthal said that federal standards for "meaningful use" of EHR software must be compatible with the national network. Meaningful use is the benchmark by which healthcare organizations will qualify for federal health IT subsidies beginning in 2011.

"NHIN can provide a path for meaningful use," Blumenthal said, according to Federal Computer Week. The stimulus law requires meaningful use to include the ability to exchange patient-specific data. "Given the federal investment in health IT, and the definition of meaningful use, it is clear there is a vibrant future for the NHIN," Blumenthal said. "Our hope is that it will support health information exchange and meaningful use at the federal, state and local levels."

For more information:
- have a look at the Federal Computer Week piece