Society Member Named to Federal HIT Standards Committee
Terrence O’Malley, MD, CMD, a Massachusetts-based geriatrician and long-time member of AMDA – The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine, has been named as the long-term care representative to the federal Health Information Technology Standards Committee (HITSC). He was appointed by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia Burwell.
As part of the HITSC, Dr. O’Malley will work on recommending standards, implementation specifications, and certification criteria for the electronic exchange and use of health information. “We have a shared vision of a smooth flow of information across the spectrum of care—from physicians to hospitals to post-acute and long-term care facilities to home health agencies to home- and community-based supports. Our goal is to put in place standards that will allow and enable the exchange of electronic health information among all stakeholders,” said Dr. O’Malley. “To start, I hope to focus on standards for a shared vocabulary that we can use to talk to one another. We all need to be using the same words and same definitions and in a format that everyone understands.” He also hopes to help facilities and organizations that don’t have sophisticated electronic health records to access tools and supports that enable them to “be part of a connected community.”
Dr. O’Malley is honored to represent the post-acute and long term care community in this group. “It will be interesting to work on IT standards, which ultimately will help us best manage the most complex individuals under our care. In this era of value-based payments, this will also be essential to enable us to manage costs as well as outcomes,” he said. He noted that this appointment came after six years of work “in the ONC [Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology] universe.” He has worked on a workgroup on transitions of care—“the first time that information relevant to post-acute and long-term care was included in national standards,” then on a workgroup to create a framework to exchange longitudinal care plans. “We filled in numerous gaps in standards, so I believe that my experiences to date will serve me well on the HITSC.”
Society Executive Director Christopher Laxton, CAE, is proud to have another Society member serve on an influential committee. “It’s important for our members, who know the post-acute and long-term care world better than anyone, to serve on these committees so that they can affect the way in which providers practice and level of quality care patients receive.”
The HITSC, along with a Health Information Technology Policy Committee (HITPC), were created through the Health Information Technology Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act in accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee. The two committees provide the opportunity for both stakeholders and the public to provide direct input to the HHS regarding the implementation and use of health IT. Both committees and supported by and report to the ONC. For more information, click here.
AMDA – The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine is the only medical specialty society representing the community of over 50,000 medical directors, physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and other practitioners working in the various post-acute and long-term care (PALTC) settings. Dedicated to defining and improving quality, we advance our mission through timely professional development, evidence-based clinical guidance, and tireless advocacy on behalf of members, patients, families, and staff. Visit www.paltc.org for more information.