Developments in health informatics within the standards associations of Australia and New Zealand

Stud Health Technol Inform. 1993;6:25-31.


Activities to support the development and adoption of Standards in health informatics are now well started. The Standards Association of Australia formed a committee (IT/14) on Medical Informatics which met for the first time in February 1991: early in 1992 it changed its name to reflect a broader concern with "Health Informatics" rather than the rather narrower interpretation that many had chosen to place on the term "Medical Informatics". The Standards Association of New Zealand held the inaugural meeting of persons interested in constituting committee SC606 on Health Informatics in August of this year. A growing program of active collaboration between Australia and New Zealand was formalised in July of this year, whereby standards will for the most part be jointly developed and adopted regionally, and whereby the separate committees will be merged wherever practicable to form a single head Joint Technical Committee (JTC) for each domain of involvement. The focus in Australia and New Zealand is at present very much on the need for standards to implement national health information networks. The progressive definition of network standards is prompting increased interest in the standards implemented within the systems and installations that must connect to the networks. The initial implementation of a national health information system in New Zealand is scheduled for 1st July 1993: detailed plans for an Australian health communications network are well advanced although no date for its implementation has been proposed. This paper outlines the general structure of the standards committees in the Antipodes, and of their various sub-committees. It will also outline broad terms of reference of these groups, and the major areas of current interests, activity and developments.

MeSH terms

  • Australia
  • Computer Communication Networks / standards
  • Health Plan Implementation
  • Humans
  • Medical Informatics / standards*
  • Medical Informatics Applications
  • New Zealand