Health IT stimulus success hinges on standards

Without technology standards, there cannot be stimulus success, at least that's what healthcare information experts are saying according to an article at

The recently passed 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act stimulus package invested $19 billion in electronic health records, with $20 million going to the National Institute of Standards and Technology to develop such standards. Some researchers, like Dr. Stephen Jones-principal deputy assistant secretary of Defense for health affairs--see these rules as "linchpins in making the system work." Jones believes that such standards are comparable to "railroads need[ing] to have standard gauges of track." 

Once such standards are created, the NIST is then required to create a committee to recommend said rules to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT that will consist of representatives from healthcare providers, consumers, federal agencies and experts in healthcare quality, to name a few. 

Even with the passing of the stimulus though, the fact that this process is speeding up is nothing new, considering that the Healthcare Information Technology Standards Panel has been working on creating standards for a while now. 

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