HITSP is an acronym for the Healthcare Information Technology Standards panel. It is a part of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).


HITSP was created by the US Department of Health and Human Services’s Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONCHIT) in 2005 to promote healthcare systems interoperability though uniform health information exchange standards. The current chairman of HITSP is John Halamka, MD, CIO of Harvard Medical School. The intent of HITSP is to act as a liaison between the public and private sectors to develop and promote a set of standards that will allow software applications to interact seemlessly in local, regional and national healthcare networks. Health information exchange (HIE) has been identified as crucial to addressing the current cost, quality and safety crisis present in our healthcare system. It is also an obstacle that must be overcome to create the Nationwide Health Information Network (NHIN) which is essentially a network of networks linking local providers to RHIO's to the NHIN. HITSP’s general strategy is to profile a specific interoperability problem known as a “Use Case” that has been determined important to national priorities and create Interoperability Specifications to address it. They also seek commonalities in the specifications they create and reuse them so that they become building blocks for future specifications. By doing this they preserve past work and save costs to others because they don't have to "reinvent the wheel".

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Further detailed information about HITSP can be viewed at:

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J. Marc Overhage.Health Information Exchange: ‘Lex Parsimoniae’.Health Affairs, 26, no. 5 (2007): w595-w597 doi: 10.1377/hlthaff.26.5.w595
Retrieved from database WebFeat – Health Affairs

Health IT Standards Panel Up-date

The Health IT Standards Panel sponsored by the Health and Human Services Department has issued a set of standards for keeping patient electronic health records secure. In order for health records to be exchanged among institutions, the Panel aimed to identify and harmonize existing information standards.

The constructs are as follows.
  • Manage document sharing and preserve document integrity
  • Collect and communicate security audit trail
  • Maintain consistent time, by synchronizing system clocks among the systems on a network
  • Secured communication channel
  • Entity identity assertion, to validate the identity of people or applications
  • Access control
  • Non-repudiation of information origin
  • Manage and communicate consent directives from a patient.
The constructs will be incorporated into other interoperability specifications issued by the panel.

It reported that the constructs have some gaps. “For example, there is a lack of standards to communicate the full access control policies and obligations in the fidelity that health care ultimately needs,” it said in the document. “In cases like this, HITSP will present the best solutions available, and encourage standards organizations to fill the gaps.”

The panel expects to update the constructs from time to time.