The HIT Standards Committee, a federal advisory body, has approved recommendations for data standards that support the exchange of patient information among disparate entities. Such data exchange will be a requirement for meaningful use of electronic health records under the economic stimulus law. The approval is the first step in requiring that EHRs support these standards and providers use them to facilitate health information exchange. The recommendations now go to the HIT Policy Committee, another federal advisory body. If approved, the recommendations would be transmitted to federal officials for consideration as they write the rules governing the Medicare/Medicaid incentive programs for meaningful use of EHRs. It will be up to federal officials to declare any mandates to use the data standards. The recommended primary content exchange standards are:

Recommended primary vocabulary standards are:

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