The National Institute of Standards and Technology is seeking information as it launches an initiative to analyze health information technology standards to better focus resources on those that facilitate health information exchange.

NIST, an agency of the Department of Commerce, will conduct the analysis with funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The agency on Dec. 18 published its information solicitation on the Federal Business Opportunities Web site. "This is not a request for quotations or proposals," according to the solicitation. "This is a sources sought synopsis for market research purposes. Information received will be used for market research purposes only."

However, if as a result of market research at least two qualified small businesses are identified, the resulting competitive procurement will be reserved for small businesses.

The testing initiative, called the Health IT Standards Analysis Project, does not seek to select the standards that should be used to accelerate clinical information exchange, according to the solicitation. "It seeks to analyze those standards deemed appropriate by the healthcare community by objectively determining the maturity, robustness, testability and suitability of a particular standard for use."

In the solicitation, NIST specifically asks for information to develop appropriate test materials, and data and standard-specific testing tools. The NIST solicitation is available at

This story has been reprinted with permission from Health Data Management.

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