In 1996, to help bring interoperability to healthcare, a prestigious group of providers and commercial organizations established the Andover Working Group (AWG) for Open Healthcare Interoperability. The AWG is a major initiative to establish and use common implementations of existing standards - starting with Health Level Seven (HL7). Lack of common implementations of standards has stymied efforts to build the distributed information systems required to support integrated delivery systems under managed care.

Formation of the AWG was originally fuelled by responses to an annual survey (1996) entitled "Trends in Health Care Computing," which Hewlett-Packard co-sponsored with the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS). Healthcare chief information officers polled in the HIMSS/HP survey identified as their number 1 problem the need to integrate information within and between facilities and to build a general network infrastructure.


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    Healthcare Quarterly, 1(3) March 1998

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