Rethinking Healthcare

Health tech advocates declare victory and go away

Posting in Healthcare

NAHIT may be best known for its work in defining key health IT terms, which includes the difference between an Electronic Medical Record (it can be accessed within a health organization) and an Electronic Health Record (it conforms to standards and can be accessed by multiple organizations).

The National Association for Health Information Technology (NAHIT), formed in 2003 to advocate for health IT, has decided its goals have been reached and is closing its doors.

A press statement from CEO Jane Horowitz said the American Hospital Association and the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) are well-placed to carry on the work of implementing what NAHIT only advocated.

The NAHIT board consisted mainly of hospital IT executives.

Horowitz became CEO only last year, promising a sharpened focus on the intersection of health IT and health care delivery. It was also last year that the group formed an alliance with AHA and CHIME that has since made it redundant.

Horowitz succeeded Scott Wallace, a co-founder of CCHIT, who during his tenure helped spearhead the reconstruction of New Orleans' health IT infrastructure after Hurricane Katrina. Wallace is currently at the University of Virginia.

NAHIT may be best known for its work in defining key health IT terms, which includes the difference between an Electronic Medical Record (it can be accessed within a health organization) and an Electronic Health Record (it conforms to standards and can be accessed by multiple organizations).

Under Wallace, NAHIT became a sort of stalking horse for CCHIT and a conduit between major users of health IT and Bush-era bureaucrats working on the issue. With health IT having gotten $19.2 billion in the Obama stimulus, advocacy and political connections seem a lot less relevant.

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Dana Blankenhorn

Contributing Editor

Contributing Editor Dana Blankenhorn has written for the Chicago Tribune, Advertising Age's "NetMarketing" supplement and founded the Interactive Age Daily for CMP Media. He holds degrees from Rice and Northwestern universities. He is based in Atlanta. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure