National standards for health data exchange permit too much variability and must be tightened, a family practitioner told a federal advisory board on Oct. 29. The implementation workgroup of the HIT Standards Committee is taking testimony from providers, vendors, quality measures experts and others on the challenges of implementing health information systems and exchanging data.

Floyd Bradd, M.D., founder of Skyline Family Practice in Front Royal, Va., gave several examples of the challenges of automating and the need for standardized standards. In written testimony, he explained the frustrations of establishing interfaces with labs:

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