As health IT has become a top priority around the nation, it is clear that standards and interoperability are key to the fulfillment of the goals of health IT:
- Higher quality and more efficient care.
- Seamless, secure, and private movement of data between healthcare providers and consumers without compromise or loss of information.
- Access to medical histories (including diagnoses, diagnostic tests, laboratory tests, and medication lists) at the point of care and in other settings.
- Fewer errors and redundant tests.
- More efficient and effective reporting, including surveillance and quality monitoring.
- Quick detection of adverse drug reactions and epidemics.
NIST has been collaborating with industry and others to improve the healthcare information infrastructure since the 1990s. NIST IT researchers have an internationally respected reputation for their knowledge, experience, and leadership. Since 2004, NIST has worked closely with the Department of Health and Human Services' Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (HHS/ONC).
The role of NISTis further articulated in the 2008‐2012 Federal Health IT strategic plan and the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act to:
- Advance healthcare information enterprise integration through standards and testing.
- Consult on updating the Federal Health IT Strategic Plan.
- Consult on voluntary certification programs.
- Consult on health IT implementation.
- Provide pilot testing of standards and implementation specifications, as requested.
For additional information on the health IT activities, please visit the Health IT Program Overview.