The HIT Standards Committee, established by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act ("ARRA"), met yesterday for its second public meeting. John Glaser, who works at the Office of the National Coordinator ("ONC") and serves as a liaison to the HIT Policy Committee workgroup on meaningful use, presented the Standards Committee with an overview of the draft definition of meaningful use. Members from the HIT Standards Committee were also given time to comment on the readiness and availability of standards to support the 2011 meaningful use draft goals. Additionally, representatives from the three Standards Committee workgroups gave updates on their work to date. The three workgroups, which were established at the first Standards Committee meeting, are focused on clinical operations, clinical quality, and privacy and security.

The Clinical Operations workgroup has divided its work into three categories. The group plans to: (i) define the standards work that needs to be addressed by both the Clinical Operations and the Clinical Quality workgroups; (ii) select standards and certification criteria that will be necessary to meet the definition of "meaningful use," and; (iii) create a classification system for determining standards maturity and industry readiness to meet these standards.

The Clinical Quality workgroup is working to identify quality measures. The workgroup will build off the work of the National Quality Forum's Health Information Technology Expert Panel to develop a quality data set. Rather than creating new standards, the workgroup will develop a set of datatypes, which can be expressed in terms of electronic health records ("EHRs") capabilities, to measure quality. The workgroup will spend the next month defining the datatypes that will meet the meaningful use quality measurement requirements.

The Privacy and Security workgroup plans to define the security standards and best practices needed for each element of meaningful use and for each of the eight ARRA goals set out for EHRs. To date, this workgroup has identified three categories of standards and best practices needed to support privacy and security. These include: (i) standards for products that can be purchased; (ii) standards for IT infrastructure necessary to allow the product to be meaningfully used, and; (iii) standards for the operating environment in which the product will be used.

The HIT Standards Committee will meet again on July 21. At this meeting, the Committee will release a matrix of standards, estimates of the ability to deploy these standards, quality measures, and privacy and security best practices for each meaningful use objective.

All documents presented at the meeting yesterday can be found at the following web address * :

http://healthit.hhs.gov/portal/server.pt?open=512&objID=1271&parentname=CommunityPage&parentid=3&mode=2&in_hi_userid=10741&cached=true

* NOTE: The website is temporarily unavailable