AHIMA Leading the Way on National and International Standardization

When you travel abroad, access to your health records is a necessity in emergency situations. The AHIMA Standards Team collaborates with the international community on developing and implementing standards that will help you to share your patient summary with a foreign healthcare provider, if needed, as well as to electronically send the summary of this encounter to the US-based primary care provider. Global standards-based interoperable health IT (HIT) solutions are becoming a fundamental necessity in this situation.

Leading the development of international interoperability standards at the International Organization for Standardization, Technical Committee 215 Health Informatics (ISO/TC215), AHIMA Standards’ subject matter experts are guiding the creation of trusted global information communication.

Yesterday, at the AHIMA World Congress (AWC) International Lounge, AHIMA standards leaders discussed how AHIMA may influence international health information management (HIM) standardization. Todd Cooper, head of the US Delegation at ISO/TC215, and Anna Orlova, senior director, standards at AHIMA, spoke about:

  • What is the relevance of standards to our day-to-day work?

–  Standards availability (What standards do we have?)

–  Standards maturity (How good are they?)

–  Standard compatibility/interoperability (Do they work together?)

  •  What standards do we use today?
  •  What is AHIMA‘s role in standards development and adoption?

To date, ISO/TC215’s portfolio of standards and projects (standards under development) includes more than 230 health informatics standards. Examples of ISO/TC215 standards developed by AHIMA leaders include ISO 21860 – Reference standards portfolio (RSP): Clinical imaging (RSP-CI); ISO 21564 – Terminology resource map quality measures; ISO 21526 – Metadata repository requirements; ISO 22287 – Workforce roles and capabilities for terminology and terminology services; ISO 18638 – Guidance on health information privacy education in healthcare organizations; ISO 17975 – Principles and data requirements for consent in the collection, use or disclosure of personal health information; and ISO 81001 – Health software and health IT systems safety, effectiveness, and security.

What would it take for organizations to adopt these standards? What is the AHIMA role in facilitating the adoption? Building on a successful debut at the AWC that helped to raise awareness about the ISO/TC215 standards, AHIMA Standards Task Force members will be launching a post-convention standards educational/information series of webinars to inform members about national and global HIM/HIT standards, facilitate feedback on the maturity of these standards in supporting HIM needs, and assist in the implementation of standards-based HIT solutions.

Interested in guiding national and global interoperability efforts, contact the AHIMA Standards Task Force at standards@ahima.org.

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