AHIMA Letter of Support to Secretary Leavitt re: the American Health Information Community (AHIC) Panel

September 13, 2005

The Honorable Michael Leavitt
Secretary of Department of Health and Human Services
Hubert H. Humphrey Building
200 Independence Avenue, S.W., 6th Floor
Washington, DC 20201

Dear Secretary Leavitt:

On behalf of the Board of Directors and the 50,000 individual members of the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), I applaud your leadership in appointing a diverse and highly esteemed panel of experts to the American Health Information Community (AHIC).

The formation of the AHIC can only increase the already exceptional level of progress being made under your leadership to advance the development of standards and the widespread adoption of health IT in order to improve the quality, safety, and efficiency of patient care in the US.

The success of your office and the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) in bringing together public and private stakeholders to gather and organize their collective intelligence and begin mapping out a consensus-driven course of action is the kind of breakthrough progress the industry has been waiting on for the last 20 years. I commend your ability to not only act quickly but to apply the right touch in working to achieve meaningful collaboration designed to effectively address the myriad technical, legal, political, and operational issues inherent with industry-wide change of this scope and magnitude.

AHIMA is deeply committed to actively supporting the President’s national health information goals and the adoption and implementation strategies developed by HHS, the AHIC, and Dr. Brailer’s office. For your reference, I have enclosed the following materials:

AHIMA’s e-HIM® Work Group Practice Standards-A collection of practical guidance on key issues designed to facilitate the smooth transition from paper to an electronic HIM environment “Embracing the Future”-A summary report on the future of health information management and its role in the electronic environment

Please know that you have AHIMA’s full cooperation and support and I look forward to any opportunity to provide assistance to you and your staff. I can be reached directly at 312-233-1166 or at Linda.kloss@ahima.org.

Sincerely,

Linda L. Kloss
Chief Executive Officer