In August, the AHIC recommended three sets of “Interoperability Specifications” approved by the Health Information Technology Standards Panel (HITSP)—a standards panel established by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI)—an organization contracted by HHS to develop a process for harmonizing hundreds of competing standards. Secretary Leavitt accepted these standards that form the basis of interoperability. He also accepted the AHIC’s recommendation for federal health-care delivery systems, which provide direct patient care, to develop an adoption plan to integrate these standards into their software systems by December, 2007."
In 2006, the Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology (CCHIT) certified the first 37 ambulatory—or clinician office-based—electronic health record products. The CCHIT seal of approval is awarded to products that meet base-line criteria for functionality, security, and interoperability. This certification encourages adoption of health IT by assuring providers that their systems can be a part of the future of health IT.