David Blumenthal, M.D., outgoing national coordinator for health information technology, is paying tribute to the HIT Policy and Standards Committees, which have advised him during implementation of provisions of the HITECH Act.

"I have served on, and been advised by, lots of volunteer committees in both the private and public sectors," he writes in a new blog posting. "Some have been helpful, some less so. But nothing prepared me for the magnificent way our Health Information Technology Policy Committee and Health Information Standards Committee have performed and the role they have played in implementing the HITECH ACT."

More than 368 meetings of the committees or workgroups have taken place in two years, amounting to more than 16,500 man hours, assuming an average of three-hour meetings attended by 15 people. The sheer volume of work done by the committees--and ONC staffer Judy Sparrow who managed them--has been extraordinary, Blumenthal says.

The committees were instrumental in the basic structure and content of the meaningful use rule, supporting standards and implementation specifications adopted to support meaningful use, and the structure of the temporary and permanent EHR certification programs, he notes.

In short, performance of the committees has been a wonderful surprise, Blumenthal writes. "We could never have accomplished what we have without them." Click here for the full blog.

--Joseph Goedert

 

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