WASHINGTON, Sept. 23 AHIC Successor, Inc. today announcedthe appointment of its Board of Directors. The formation of its Board ofDirectors is an important milestone in establishing AHIC Successor as anindependent public-private partnership. The new organization is beingestablished in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Health and HumanServices (HHS), as a successor to the American Health Information Community(AHIC), a federal advisory committee that will soon be dissolving. The Boardof Directors will be immediately tasked with defining the strategies by whichthe organization will fulfill its mission to develop a unified approach increating an effective, interoperable nationwide health information system inthe United States.
"We are pleased to have the participation of such a distinguished group ofindividuals from both the public and private sectors who are committed to thesuccessful integration and use of health IT in the United States," said JohnTooker, M.D., M.B.A., Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer ofthe American College of Physicians and one of the three original incorporatorsof AHIC Successor. "The Board's leadership and insights from across thehealth care, IT, academic, and consumer communities will be invaluable as ourmembers collaborate on the development of implementation strategies for astandards-based, interoperable health IT system that ensures confidentiality,privacy, and security for patients."
In addition to the new Board members listed above, HHS Secretary MikeLeavitt and Veterans Affairs Secretary James Peake will serve as federalliaisons to the board. The National Coordinator for Health InformationTechnology, Robert Kolodner, M.D., will continue to coordinate federal inputinto the public-private process.
"In the three years since AHIC was created and began submittingrecommendations to me, 52 harmonized standards for health informationtechnology have been established," Secretary Leavitt said. "I expect torecognize 60 additional harmonized standards by January 2009."
"So the concept of having the public and private sectors collaborate toadvance standards development is working," Secretary Leavitt added. "Apublic-private partnership, such as AHIC Successor, brings the benefits ofgovernment involvement to the table without the pitfalls of a politicallycontrolled process picking winners and losers. These leaders and this neworganization will play a vital role in improving the quality of health carethrough the adoption of new, interoperable technology."
The initial three signatories to the incorporation -- John Glaser, Ph.D.,Vice President and Chief Information Officer, Partners HealthCare System,Inc.; Jonathan Perlin, M.D., Ph.D., Chief Medical Officer and President,Clinical Services, Hospital Corporation of America; and Dr. Tooker -- willalso participate as Board members for the first year, after which they willstep down without replacement.
The current AHIC, which is scheduled to complete its work by the end of2008, advises HHS on how to accelerate the development and adoption of healthinformation technology.
Widespread adoption of health information technology will improve thequality, safety, and efficiency of health care by enabling the exchange ofrelevant patient information to better manage health information and care.When used with appropriate safeguards that protect confidentiality andprivacy, health IT can enable comprehensive management of medical informationand its secure exchange between health care consumers, providers, and otherrelevant parties. Health IT enables improvements at the point of care,broader public health improvements, and more efficient and effective datacollection and analysis by researchers to improve quality and affordability ofcare.
About AHIC Successor, Inc.
AHIC Successor, Inc. was created under a grant from the