NIST Gets $20 million in ONC Plan

June 24, 2011
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) will receive $20 million from the Department of Health and Human Services as part of ONC’s
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) will receive $20 million from the Department of Health and Human Services as part of ONC’s HITECH Implementation Plan.

The money will go to “continued work on advancing health care information integration through activities such as technical standards analysis and establishment of conformance testing infrastructure,” according to the plan.

The long-awaited definition of meaningful use was not forthcoming. The plan stated that it will “be determined through a process that will include broad stakeholder input and discussion. HHS is developing milestones for major phases of the program’s activities with planned delivery dates.”

In addition to myriad privacy and security regulations and deadlines, the following are the earliest important dates:

· 6/30 – draft agreement between HHS and NIST to codify outcomes, deliverables, schedule and reporting requirements. (fully execute agreement by 7/15)

· 8/26 – HHS will adopt and publish an initial set of standards, implementation specifications and certification criteria. (completed draft rule and regulatory impact analysis)

· 8/30 – Update Federal Health IT Strategic Plan – receive input from Federal and private-sector stakeholders to inform path forward.

HHS is also working to develop “cross-cutting outcomes measures for HIT activities across the department.” While the goals for these areas have not been established, physician adoption of EHRs is measured at 25% in 2009, with small practices coming in at 12%.

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