HHS promotes international EMR standards

HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt isn't just jazzed about U.S. EMR adoption--he's now joined an international effort to establish standard clinical terminology for use in EMRs. Here's what's going on (amidst a blizzard of acronyms): The U.S. is now one of nine charter members of the International Health Terminology Standards Development Organization (IHT-SDO). To kick off its efforts, IHT-SDO is using language developed by the College of American Pathologists (CAP), known as the Systematized Nomenclature of Medicine Clinical Terms (SNOMED CT).

The IHT-SDO hopes to make the SNOMED CT standard available in developing countries, making sure that it fits with public health standards such as those available through the World Health Organization. IHT-SDO will also maintain and distribute SNOMED CT with support from CAP, which has signed a three-year contract to provide help with SNOMED products and services.

To find out more about this effort:
- read this HHS press release

ALSO: Healthcare IT standards body HL7 has developed a profile for emergency care based on its EHR System Functional Model. Release (.pdf)