Monday Health Data Management had an intriguing little story about messaging and vocabulary standards:

Department of Health and Human Services has published a notice listing
the 20 messaging and vocabulary standards the federal government has
adopted for its health care information systems.

government first adopted five standards in March 2003 and another 15 in
May 2004. So while the policy is not new, the notice published Dec. 23
in the Federal Register could be a convenient document for regional health information organizations and other interoperability initiatives.

portfolio of 20 adopted standards will be used in all federal agencies
implementing new, and to the extent possible, in modifying existing
health information technology systems, as well as related business
processes,” according to the notice. Full text is available at

Sweet, except the link provided is simply a query page for the Federal Register, rather than the actual text. I've dug around and found the document (DOCID:fr23de05-78), and this should be the link to the HTML version (I couldn't get the PDF version to download). Want the synopsis of the "20 adopted standards"? HL7, DICOM and SNOMED.

UPDATE: The Healthcare IT Guy adds some insight in his followup post to the above, here.