SATVA is working in partnership with the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to organize a strategic planning initiative for development of a national behavioral health information infrastructure. The initiative involves several significant steps:

  1. The first step was to develop a white paper that anticipated new information technology applications for behavioral healthcare and envisioned a ten-year plan of standard-setting and related work to help build the information infrastructure (click here to review the paper).
  2. The second step was to organize a national invitational summit (click here to review a description from a recent press release) during which leaders from all major behavioral healthcare constituencies discussed the tasks necessary to get there and helped generate an action plan to ensure long-term sustainable effort.
  3. In early January 2006 all the Summit presentations were posted on the web for public access in audio recording with, where applicable, synchronized display of Powerpoint slides. Click here to view the Summit Program and to access any Summit presentation or workgroup summary you would like to listen to and view.
  4. IIn December 2005 SATVA and SAMHSA joined HL7 and became involved in an intensive effort to formulate worldwide standards for electronic health record systems (EHR-S).
  5. Beginning in March of 2006, SATVA and SAMHSA will work with other representatives of the behavioral healthcare field to extract and refine from the HL7 “superset” of general EHR standards a profile subset for the behavioral healthcare field. The profile subset will be worked through HL7 processes throughout 2006 and into 2007.
  6. In March 2006 SATVA and the Mental Health Corporations of America (MHCA) will release a 40-page set of executive-level guidelines for software selection and implementation, with a particular focus on electronic health record systems (EHR-S). This is intended to provide technical assistance to behavioral health organizations considering the purchase and implementation of an EHR-S.
  7. SATVA will work with the SAMHSA-funded Behavioral Health Standards Workgroup to review nationwide informatics standard-setting initiatives for other opportunities to develop behavioral health-specific standards where needed, working within existing infrastructures where feasible and creating new ones where necessary.



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