American Academy of Family Physicians Partners for Patients Initiative Enters Next Phase of Development
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, March 23, 2004
American Academy of Family Physicians
(800) 274-2237, Ext. 5223
In November 2003, the American Academy of Family Physicians developed the Partners for Patients initiative to provide affordable, standards-based EHRs to medical practices. Ten information technology companies formed the core group of the initiative. These vendors secured strategic alliances with the AAFP to offer discounted prices on their EHR systems, software or hardware to AAFP members.
The 10 companies that comprise the core group of the Partners for Patients initiative are A4 Health Systems; GE Medical Systems Information Technologies; HP; MedPlexus Inc.; MedPlus Inc.; NextGen Healthcare Information Systems Inc.; Physician Micro Systems Inc.; Siemens Medical Solutions Health Services Corporation; SureScripts, LLC; and Welch
In February 2004, following a request by more than 50 companies, the AAFP expanded the Partners for Patients initiative by encouraging other health information technology companies to sign declarations in support of the four principles on which the initiative is based. These declarations confirm the companies' adoption of the four Partners for Patients principles as guidelines for the design of their products and services.
The principles are:
- Affordability - Recognizing the limited capital available to family physicians in small medical practices, the AAFP's partnering firms will discount their prices and work with the AAFP to increase the volume of their sales for software and hardware.
- Compatibility - Compatibility will be achieved through efforts to standardize connectivity interfaces between office-based systems, such as the EHR, and key information resources for electronic prescribing, laboratory result reporting and hospital information systems.
- Interoperability - Interoperability standards, such as the Continuity of Care Record, will be jointly developed by the AAFP and partnering companies to permit seamless data exchange among physicians, other providers and patients.
- Data Stewardship - Data stewardship will become an increasingly important challenge as ever-larger amounts of physician-generated health information are collected, stored and managed in systems and databases across the country. These data must be protected, kept secure and used only for ethical purposes that support the highest values of the medical profession.
"The AAFP and our members truly appreciate the solidarity behind the four guiding principles that we believe will transform the information technology industry offerings for small and medium sized practices," said David C. Kibbe, M.D., director of the AAFP Center for Health Information Technology. "While we are not endorsing companies or products, we believe the future lies with those companies who bring more affordable, standards-based products and services to this fast growing market."
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Founded in 1947, the AAFP represents 110,600 physicians and medical students nationwide. It is the only medical society devoted solely to primary care.
Approximately one in four of all office visits are made to family physicians. That is 240 million office visits each year — nearly 87 million more than the next largest medical specialty. Today, family physicians provide more care for America’s underserved and rural populations than any other medical specialty. Family medicine’s cornerstone is an ongoing, personal patient-physician relationship focused on integrated care.
To learn more about the specialty of family medicine, the AAFP's positions on issues and clinical care, and for downloadable multi-media highlighting family medicine, visit www.aafp.org/media. For information about health care, health conditions and wellness, please visit the AAFP’s award-winning consumer website, www.FamilyDoctor.org.