In recent years, the Committee has recognized the importance of electronic standardization efforts which are taking place in the business community. The Committee has appointed a liaison to participate in selected meetings of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Accredited Standards Committee (ASC) X-12, a private sector coalition that is developing transmission standards for health data. The focus of the NCVHS effort has been on the content of the data to be transmitted, rather than the method of transmission.
The Committee has recognized that data confidentiality is a major concern in the collection of health data from an increasing number of sites, and the Committee has long been concerned with personal privacy and data confidentiality issues. In the early 1990's, it formed an Ad Hoc Work Group on Confidentiality to study issues related to confidentiality, unique personal identifiers and data linkage across time and systems. Thus, the NCVHS was the natural locus of the continuing efforts of DHHS to investigate the further standardization of health data.