Why NIST thinks electronic health records are so important

Federal agency NIST helps create standards that will help the U.S. in its push to securely computerize EHR.

As many of you know, I've been talking a lot about electronic health records, or EHR. That's because America has made a big push to securely computerize health records, with the goal of reducing both cost and medical errors.

One of the more interesting federal agencies is NIST, the National Institute of Standards and Technology. These folks used to be known as the National Bureau of Standards, and, as you might imagine, one of their biggest contributions is the creation and nurturing of important standards across many different fields.

Data interchange in EHR is one of those standards that NIST is supporting. In order for EHR to work, different companies and providers, with wildly different systems, need to be able to securely communicate between them.

The following video (as self-serving and public service announcement-y as it sounds) is very interesting because it shows both the government perspective on EHR as well as helps explain some of the broad benefits of this transition.