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April Workshop To Focus on Preserving Digital Health Records

Information technology experts, insurers, policy makers and representatives of healthcare organizations will convene on April 5-6, 2011, in Bethesda, Md., to survey current approaches to preserving electronic health records (EHRs) and then to chart steps toward ensuring that this valuable digital information is managed over the long term to the full benefit of patients, physicians, researchers and others.

To be held at the National Library of Medicine on the campus of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Workshop on Long-term Preservation and Management of Electronic Health Records aims to sharpen the focus and accelerate the pace of efforts to meet one of the key challenges in implementing a national health information network. Sponsors are the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), NIH/NLM and the National Archives and Records Administration.

Key questions include: What information should be retained and for how long? What is the most effective way to adjust to obsolescence of hardware and software and to accommodate new technology? What privacy needs must be addressed and what legal requirements exist? What is the most efficient and practical way to verify the quality of archived patient information? Are existing methods of version control sufficient for ensuring that data is up-to-date, accurate, and complete? How do record preservation and management requirements differ between patients and other potential users of health data, such as researchers or insurers?

Speakers will include William W. Stead, Associate Vice Chancellor for Strategy/Transformation and Director of the Informatics Center at Vanderbilt University Medical Center; Charles P. Friedman, Chief Scientific Officer for the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Chris Greer, Assistant Director for Information Technology Research and Development, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy; John D. Halamka, Chief Information Officer, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and Chief Information Officer, Harvard Medical School; Clement J. McDonald, Director, Lister Hill National Center for Biomedical Communication, NLM; Mark Frisse, Accenture Professor of Biomedical Informatics, Vanderbilt Center for Better Health; Lynn H. Vogel, Vice President and Chief Information Officer, University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center; and Christopher G. Chute, Professor of Biomedical Informatics, Mayo Clinic, and Director of Health Informatics, Clinical Translational Science Institute, University of Minnesota.

Breakout sessions will focus on the infrastructure for acquiring, storing, exchanging and retrieving health information; methods for preserving and reusing EHRs for research; and institutional policies for sharing archived EHRs.

To learn more about the workshop and to register, go to: [link removed].

For information about NIST research and services that contribute to improvements in the use, effectiveness, and capabilities of health information technology, including the preservation of EHRs, go here.

Edited on March 4, 2011, to remove the Department of Veterans Affairs from the list of sponsors.

Released February 15, 2011, Updated February 2, 2023