AMIA Unveils 2017 Policy Priorities, Defines Pillars of New Policy Domain

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Policy Principles & Positions to help guide organizational agenda in Washington in 2017 and beyond

During the 2016 Annual Symposium, AMIA officials unveiled Public Policy Principles & Positions for 2016-17. The first four precepts of a new realm of public policy, known as Health Informatics Policy, were developed by AMIA’s Public Policy Committee over the last several months, and endorsed by the AMIA Board of Directors in October. Officials hope this work will articulate to members, policymakers and other stakeholders which issues and conversations are most critical to discovering health insights and accelerating healthcare transformation.

“These Principles & Positions reflect the values of our organization and represent the vast expertise of the AMIA membership,” said AMIA Board Chair and Medical Director of IT Services at the University of Washington’s UW Medicine, Thomas H. Payne, MD, FACP, FACMI. “Whether we are discussing how to breakdown data silos and improve reproducibility in research, or empowering patients through access to their data, AMIA members are leading the way.”

In articulating a new realm of public policy, AMIA’s Public Policy Committee said, “Health Informatics Policy is a distinct policy domain which seeks to optimize care delivery & care experience, improve population and public health, and advance biomedical research through the collection, analysis and application of data.” Not unlike Environmental Policy, Education Policy and Fiscal Policy, Health Informatics Policy is dynamic and organized around key domains. The Public Policy Committee identified six initial pillars of Health Informatics Policy:
1.    Patient Empowerment
2.    Health IT Safety
3.    Workforce & Education
4.    Data Sharing in Research
5.    Standards & Interoperability
6.    Informatics-Driven Quality Measurement

Each priority begins with a series of statements describing what AMIA believes – Principles that describe the values intrinsic to the pillar and viewed through an informatics lens. A series of Policy Positions are resultant from these Principles, and they are supported through evidence in peer-reviewed literature.

“These first six pillars help define an initial framework to help communicate the way informatics impacts research, care delivery, public health and workforce issues,” said AMIA Public Policy Committee Chair and CMIO at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, Paul Fu, Jr., MD, MPH, FAAP. “AMIA will build upon and leverage these principles to improve the regulatory and legislative landscape for health informatics policy.”

“This work is foundational to the ongoing evolution of our field,” said AMIA President and CEO Douglas B. Fridsma, MD, PhD, FACP, FACMI, “It will further enable policymakers to benefit not just from what AMIA members know, but from what they do.”

Over the next several months, the Public Policy Committee will continue its work to define the core of Health Informatics Policy, consistent with AMIA’s brand of evidence-based policy recommendations, supported by the latest research and reinforced through the literature. Principles focused on Standards & Interoperability and Informatics-Driven Quality Measurement are scheduled for release before the end of 2016, and AMIA’s Public Policy Committee will initiate a process of review to explore additional pillars and enhance existing pillars.

AMIA’s Annual Symposium is the premier educational event in the field. The symposium presents leading-edge scientific research on biomedical and health informatics and over 100 scientific sessions. The Symposium presents work from across the spectrum of the informatics field -- translational bioinformatics, clinical research informatics, clinical informatics, consumer health informatics and public health informatics.

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AMIA, the leading professional association for informatics professionals, is the center of action for 5,200 informatics professionals from more than 65 countries. As the voice of the nation’s top biomedical and health informatics professionals, AMIA and its members play a leading role in assessing the effect of health innovations on health policy, and advancing the field of informatics. AMIA actively supports five domains in informatics: translational bioinformatics, clinical research informatics, clinical informatics, consumer health informatics, and public health.

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Lisa Gibson
American Medical Informatics Association
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American Medical Informatics Association
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