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PHDSC and APHL Release Draft White Paper:
Assure Health IT Standards for Public Health Laboratory Data Exchanges”
Submit your comments by January 31, 2012 to Maiko Minami at

BALTIMORE, MD January 9, 2012 – The Public Health Data Standards Consortium (PHDSC), in collaboration with the Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), has released a Draft White Paper Assure Health IT Standards for Public Health Laboratory Data Exchanges(attached). The White Paper comprehensively explores the state of Health IT (HIT) standards for laboratory practices and information exchanges, and serves as a guiding document and roadmap for HIT standardization of laboratory data exchanges to support public health preparedness activities.

The White Paper focuses on addressing incomplete and inconsistent adoption of existing standards and absence of a sustainable approach for standardization of information systems for public health laboratories by operationalizing HIT standards that already exist for laboratory information exchanges. The White Paper describes a proposed Roadmap for HIT standardization for public health laboratory data exchanges that outlines project activities with various HIT standardization entities through multiple HIT standardization phases. Specifically, the White Paper documents:

  • Need and Challenges of HIT standardization for electronic laboratory data exchanges

  • Where We Are Now: The current use of HIT standards to support interoperability between Laboratory Information Management Systems (LIMS), Electronic Health Records Systems (EHR-S) and Public Health Information Systems (PH-IS) and

  • Where We Are Going: An approach to assure HIT interoperability of public health laboratories by enabling public health stakeholders’ participation in various HIT standardization phases and entities to develop, harmonize, and test HIT interoperability standards; and certify and deploy standards-based HIT products.

The approach described in the White Paper is based on the PHDSC methodology for engaging public health stakeholders in the HIT standardization process under the PHDSC’s Coordinated Public Health Action Plan on HIT Standards developed as a part of the PHDSC Business Case: Role of Public Health in National HIT Standardization.

The White Paper targets three audiences:

  • Leadership – Public health leadership at the local, state and federal levels and national HIT leaders; and leadership of State Health Information Exchanges (HIEs)

  • Public health professionals involved in laboratory data exchanges – Directors and staff of public health laboratories, public health preparedness programs and other programs; and

  • IT professionals involved in HIT standardization – HIT vendors involved in HIT standardization activities (standards development, harmonization and testing; and standard-based products certification and deployment).

Please submit your comments on the White Paper (attached) in Track Changes to

Maiko Minami at by January 31, 2012
Please send questions regarding this announcement to Ms. Maiko Minami (
We look forward to your comments.

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