Standardization Group Gets New Chair

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The Standards Development Organization's Standards Charter Organization (SCO), a collaboration among U.S. healthcare standards development organizations, has named John Quinn, chief technical officer of Health Level Seven International (HL7), as its chair. Margaret Weiker, Accredited Standards Committee (ASC) X12 Insurance Subcommittee chair, has been named SCO’s chair-elect.

The SCO was cofounded in 2008 by the National Council for Prescription Drug Programs (NCPDP) and HL7, and seeks to facilitate the creation of industry-wide, interoperable standards to support sustainable healthcare IT in the U.S., the organization stated.

Current SCO projects examine harmonization of the publication of standards, functional gaps and overlaps in standards and analysis of a provider registry/directory.

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) has completed staffing of all major areas of the U.S. Standards and Interoperability Framework, and intends to provide the country with the standards-based implementation specification that will be needed to meet the requirements of meaningful use of EMRs between now and 2015, according to Quinn.

“The standards that ONC expects to draw on are largely represented in, and will likely be drawn from, the existing standards that have been developed by the current SCO members,” Quinn said in a statement last week. The SCO can provide ONC with a “single point of contact” for healthcare messaging, electronic document, EHR and personal health record (PHR) functional standards, and health vocabulary standards development organizations, he stated.

The SCO brings together the collective expertise of the leading standards development organizations, Weiker stated, and is well-positioned to assist with and harmonize government initiatives around the standards and interoperability framework.

In addition to HL7, NCPDP and ASC X12, SCO members include ASTM International (formerly known as the American Society for Testing and Materials), Clinical Data Interchange Standards Consortium (CDISC), the Association for Information and Image Management (AIIM), the American Dental Association (ADA) and the Regenstrief Institute.

        

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