Standards Developers Applaud ‘Public-Private Partnership’ during Capitol Hill Event

Posted July 12, 2017

Capitol HillLeaders of several standards development organizations, including AAMI, hosted an event on Capitol Hill Tuesday to highlight the importance of standards in supporting product quality and safety for various industries, especially healthcare technology.

The goal of the event was to raise awareness on the part of lawmakers about the role of standards—and their relationship to the regulatory world.

“Standards and compliance are basically often thought of as operating behind the scenes,” said S. Joe Bhatia, president and CEO of the American National Standards Institute. “They are pretty much invisible to the average person, … but they are the core of technical development [and] the core of the reliability, the interoperability, the safety of nearly every product, not just in the healthcare area, … that all of us rely on every day.”

As a matter of policy, federal agencies are required to utilize consensus standards whenever possible rather than developing their own regulations, and government employees are encouraged to participate in the standards-development process.

“One of the great strengths of the U.S. approach … is that it is a public-private partnership. The U.S. government is an active participant in the standards-setting process and relies upon private sector solutions in forming and applying its regulations,” Bhatia said.

AAMI President and CEO Robert Jensen said that standards are an integral component of advancing healthcare technology and patient safety.

“Standards can be dry and technical documents, but they are really all about people,” he said. “At AAMI, they are about the innovators who design and develop cutting-edge medical devices; the regulators who review applications for new devices; the doctors and nurses who use them; the professionals who service and support the devices; and, most of all, the patients who benefit from them.”

The Capitol Hill event comes in advance of the U.S. Celebration of World Standards Day on Oct. 19. At that time, standards organizations will host a reception and gala dinner in Washington, D.C., to honor leaders in the standards world. AAMI is the event’s 2017 administrating organization.

To learn more about the AAMI standards program, including how to join a committee, please visit this AAMI standards webpage.