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American College of Physicians Joins IHE Sponsors

The American College of Physicians aligns with Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise to support interoperability of patient care applications in health information technology

CHICAGO (May 30, 2006) – The American College of Physicians (ACP), representing more than 119,000 doctors of internal medicine and medical students, has aligned with Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE) as an Affiliate Sponsor of the IHE Patient Care Coordination Domain (PCC).  The ACP Board of Regents approved the affiliation at its April board meeting.

Marking an important step in support of interoperable electronic health records (EHRs), the establishment of the new collaboration emphasizes the importance of physician stakeholder input to the ongoing efforts of IHE to advance the integration of healthcare information technology systems and remove barriers to optimal patient care.

“We are pleased to affiliate with IHE in the Patient Care Coordination domain,” said John Tooker, MD, MBA, FACP, ACP’s executive vice president.  “IHE serves a critical role in fostering the implementation of standards for health information exchange.”

The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) and the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) joined forces in 1998 to form IHE, which is designed to improve the way computer systems in healthcare share critical information. The American College of Cardiology (ACC) joined the initiative as a sponsor in 2003.

The Patient Care Coordination Domain addresses interoperability of patient information, such as medical summaries, allergies, medications, lab results, ECG and other reports, and basic patient demographic information. (Many healthcare professionals consider the medical summary report, which is the basis of the PCC domain, as the “most critical clinical content building block” for the EHR, according a 2005 presentation by Charles Parisot, GE healthcare IT and co-chair of the IHE IT Infrastructure Technical Committee.)  From an interoperability perspective, the success of the medical summary or PCC domain within IHE is crucial to its acceptance by vendors and clinicians.

“We are pleased to welcome the American College of Physicians as an affiliate sponsor of IHE,” said Joyce Sensmeier, MS, RN, vice president of informatics and manager of IHE activities for HIMSS.  “ACP brings an affiliation that will be beneficial to IHE and will contribute to the improvement of patient care. It is essential to the success of IHE that the user perspective, a building-block element of the IHE process, is addressed. The involvement of ACP members combined with those of RSNA and ACC expands the number of clinical users leading the IHE process to more than 250,000 individuals.”

About ACP
The American College of Physicians is the largest medical specialty organization and the second-largest physician group in the United States. ACP members include 119,000 internal medicine physicians (internists), related sub specialists, and medical students. Internists specialize in the prevention, detection and treatment of illness in adults.