American Academy of Family Physicians Establishes Center for Health Information Technology

Thursday, September 25, 2003

Megan Moriarty
Public Relations Strategist
American Academy of Family Physicians
(800) 274-2237 Ext. 5223

LEAWOOD, Kan. — The American Academy of Family Physicians announced today the establishment of the Center for Health Information Technology. The Center’s mission is to promote and facilitate the adoption and optimal use of health information technology by AAFP members and other office-based clinicians.
The Center will be the locus of AAFP’s technical expertise, advocacy, research and member services activities associated with health information technology. It will become a leading national resource on information and communications technology that supports the family medicine practice of the future. The Center will collaborate with government, industry and other professional organizations to promote health information technology.

“The establishment of the Center signals the importance for both members and leaders of the AAFP of the need to move from paper-based to computerized information systems in the family physicians office,” said Douglas E. Henley, M.D., AAFP executive vice president. “The activities of the Center will improve the quality and safety of medical care and in turn, increase the efficiency of health-care delivery.”

Based at the AAFP’s headquarters in Leawood, Kan., the Center will guide all health technology initiatives on four operating principles. These principles are:

  • Affordability – The costs for the acquisition and use of health information technology will be within the budget of small- and medium-sized medical practices.
  • Compatibility – Health information systems and their components will operate with existing systems.
  • Interoperability – Data will be shared between other medical specialists, labs, hospitals, pharmacies, and the patient regardless of the application or vendor used.
  • Data stewardship – Physicians and other clinicians will retain control of the data and choose who will be the guardian of that data.

David C. Kibbe, M.D., formerly director of health information technology for the AAFP, has been named director of the Center. “It is an honor for me to have this opportunity, and I look forward to charting the future of office-based medical informatics and making the Center a trusted and unbiased resource for family physicians,” Kibbe said.

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Founded in 1947, the AAFP represents 129,000 physicians and medical students nationwide. It is the only medical society devoted solely to primary care.

Family physicians conduct approximately one in five office visits -- that’s 192 million visits annually or 48 percent more than the next most visited 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 For information about health care, health conditions and wellness, please visit the AAFP’s award-winning consumer website,