Chopra will look outside healthcare in applying EMR standards

Federal chief technology officer Aneesh Chopra will look outside of healthcare for advice on how to implement standards for workflow and the sharing of EMR data across organizations, Government Health IT reports. "There is an interest in how other industries have adopted standards, and I think we're going to take that feedback to heart," Chopra said following a meeting of the Health IT Standards Committee on Wednesday. Chopra is chairing the committee's newly created standards implementation group.

The work will start with an Oct. 29 hearing so outside experts can share best practices. After that hearing, Chopra will open a two-week online forum to solicit public advice. The workgroup will report its findings at next month's Standards Committee meeting.

National health IT coordinator Dr. David Blumenthal noted the distinction between standards adoption and EMR implementation by saying that health IT vendors should be able to figure out most technology issues once standards are in place. And to him, the standards part may be more significant than the EMRs themselves. "Congress might not know it or realize it, but you are at the center of their effort to improve the healthcare system," Blumenthal told the committee.

For more information about Chopra's effort:
- have a look at this Government Health IT story