Conifer’s Information Management Director helps define health information as part of the Century Cures Act task force

Karen Lavin, Conifer’s Healthcare Information Management (HIM) Director and member of the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), recently concluded her duties as part of an expert health information task force working to properly define the meaning and use of Electronic Health Information.

In 2016, Congress passed the 21st Century Cures Act (CURES) to accelerate medical product development and bring about innovations and advances more quickly and efficiently to patients. A key provision of CURES prevents any player from interfering, preventing, or materially discouraging the access, exchange, or use of Electronic Health Information (EHI).

To reach universal agreement on the definition of EHI for compliance purposes and knowing how this could benefit patient, providers, and developers, the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA), and the Electronic Health Record Association (EHRA) assembled a task force to examine the relationship between specific aspects of the Cures Act Final Rule and the definitions of the DRS and EHI.

The goal of the task force was to develop consensus recommendations and guidance among HIM, health informatics, and health IT professionals on how to translate EHI and other Designated Record Set (DRS) definitions into guidelines that could be operationalized in an electronic environment, in a way that would be acceptable to end users. In 2020. Karen was asked to put her more than 25 years of HIM experience to work as a member of the task force.

“I was honored to have been selected as a member of this specialized task force and excited to help the group achieve their goals,” stated Karen. “I was privileged to be one of three members representing AHIMA. This has been a unique and rewarding experience both professionally and personally.”

Participating task force members were asked to make preliminary recommendations for the first phase of implementation of The CURES Act. Then, they partnered with various industry stakeholders, including the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) to release a final report that met the goal of creating a baseline interpretation of the Designated Record Set (DRS) and Electronic Health Information (EHI), to potentially influence public policy and make recommendations to OCR working collectively through issues as they were identified.

“Karen’s vast industry knowledge, unique skillset, and distinguished reputation made her the perfect selection for the national task force,” stated Donia Bennett, Sr. Director of HIM Services. “Her representation is just one example of how Conifer leaders exercise their extensive expertise to impact healthcare and patient experiences across the care continuum. We are proud of her contributions and the role she played in this important assignment.”