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Chapter 2

Part 8 - Information Resources Management

Title Section
Introduction 8-2.1
    Purpose 8-2.1A
    Goal 8-2.1B
    Authority 8-2.1C
    Acronyms 8-2.1D
Responsibilities 8-2.2
    Responsibilities 8-2.2A
    Meetings 8-2.2B
    Chair 8-2.2C
    Membership 8-2.2D
    Additional Membership 8-2.2E
    Membership Changes 8-2.2F
    Staff Support 8-2.2G
Decision-making 8-2.3
    Quorum 8-2.3A
    Agenda Setting and Submission of Issues for Consideration 8-2.3B
    Charter Review 8-2.3C


  1. Purpose.  The Information Systems Advisory Committee (ISAC) is established to guide the development of a co-owned and co-managed Indian health information infrastructure and information systems.  The ISAC will assist in ensuring that information systems are available, accessible, useful, cost effective, user-friendly, and secure for local-level providers, and that these systems continue to create standardized aggregate data that supports advocacy for the Indian health programs at the national level.  Recognizing that the health care delivery environment and information technologies that support it are rapidly changing, the ISAC will be flexible in interpreting the roles and rules of this document and revise them as necessary to best meet its goal.
  2. Goal.  The goal of the ISAC is to ensure the creation of flexible and dynamic information systems that assist in the management and delivery of health care and contribute to the elevation of the health status of Indian people.
  3. Authority.  The ISAC will report to the Director, Indian Health Service (IHS).  The ISAC will carry out the responsibilities and authorities as provided in this charter and delegated in writing by the Director, IHS.  The ISAC will be administratively supported by the IHS Chief Information Officer.
  4. Acronyms:
    1. Indian Health Service (IHS)
    2. IHS/Tribal/Urban (I/T/U)
    3. Information Systems Advisory Committee (ISAC)
    4. Information Technology (IT)


  1. Responsibilities.  The ISAC is charged with the following responsibilities:
    1. Annually prioritize key initiatives in information systems to be addressed by the IHS.
    2. Advise the Director, IHS, on direction, priorities, and resource allocation for information systems through development, review, and approval of the IHS Information Technology (IT) strategic plan, enterprise project management plan, enterprise architecture, and investment reviews.
    3. Develop an open process, relationship, and environment that support collaboration between IHS, Tribal, and Urban (I/T/U) programs in information systems development.
    4. Develop a process for working cooperatively with States and other Federal agencies to share activities and costs to meet the information systems needs of Indian communities.
    5. Provide advocacy and support for I/T/U partnerships.
    6. Promote the adoption and use of standard data sets, disseminate information regarding the status of existing data sets, and market the need for maintaining standardized aggregate data.
    7. Establish and appoint ad-hoc technical workgroups composed of industry experts and representatives of Indian health programs to provide advice and perform activities dealing with current IT issues.
    8. Communicate with and report to all I/T/U constituents.
    9. Advocate for resources for needed information systems.
  2. Meetings.  The ISAC will meet at least twice annually to carry out its responsibilities (either in person, by telephone, or through video-conference).  Special meetings may be called by the Director, IHS, or by the co-chairs.  Minutes documenting action items and responsibilities will be produced within 15 working days of each meeting, distributed to ISAC, and published on the IHS external Web site.
  3. Membership.  Permanent members of the ISAC:
    1. IHS Chief Information Officer
    2. National Indian Health Board Member
    3. Tribal Self-Governance Advisory Committee Member
    4. National Council of Urban Indian Health Board Member
    5. National Council of Chief Medical Officers Member
    6. National Council of Executive Officers Member
    7. National Clinical Councils Member
    8. IHS Office of Environmental Health and Engineering Representative
    9. IHS Information Systems Coordinator Committee Representative
  4. Chair.  During the first meeting of each calendar year, ISAC members will select by majority vote two co-chairs, one Tribal representative, and one IHS representative, to serve 2-year staggered terms.
  5. Additional Membership.  In addition, 8 members consisting of IHS staff, Tribal Leaders, and Urban program managers will be appointed to serve staggered 2-year terms.  The ratio of Tribal to IHS representatives will match the current ratio of IHS direct-service delivery programs to tribally operated programs in federally appropriated budget dollars.  At least one member will represent Tribes that are primarily receiving their health services through the IHS direct-service delivery program until such time as the Indian health program is fully compacted or contracted.  An IHS and Tribal representative from the same service unit/facility location cannot serve at the same time on the ISAC.  Attention will be given to providing for a diversity of perspective in terms of geography, size of program, and mode of service and/or contracting instrument.  Additional membership will be recommended to the Director, IHS, as follows:
    1. Area Directors, Area health boards, and individual Tribal and Urban Indian organizations will make membership nominations and recommendations to the ISAC.
    2. The ISAC will review all membership nominations submitted based on the open positions.
    3. The ISAC will make recommendations to the Director, IHS, for ISAC membership.
    4. At his/her discretion, the Director, IHS, will appoint the representatives based on recommendations submitted by the ISAC.
    5. Officially-appointed members will designate, in writing, an alternate who will serve in an official voting capacity when the member is absent.
  6. Membership Changes.  Members may request to resign through the ISAC to the Director, IHS, in writing.  The ISAC may recommend to the Director, IHS, the replacement of any member who does not attend two consecutive committee meetings.
  7. Staff Support.  Staff support will be provided by the IHS Office of Information Technology and can include personnel from I/T/U.


  1. Quorum.  A quorum will exist when more than half of the Tribal representatives and more than half of the IHS representatives are present.  All decisions will be by consensus of those present at each meeting.  If a consensus cannot be reached on a major decision, opposing arguments will be summarized, submitted to the Director, IHS, and documented in the minutes.
  2. Agenda Setting and Submission of Issues for Consideration.  The ISAC co-chairs will jointly establish meeting agendas.  Issue papers should be submitted for consideration on the agenda as background; issues/alternatives; financial costs, benefits, and impacts; and recommendations.  Agendas will be distributed to ISAC members at least 15 working days before each meeting.
  3. Charter Review.  This charter will be reviewed on a biennial basis and as needed to evaluate its effectiveness and incorporate any improvements.  Changes to the ISAC charter must be approved by a two-thirds majority vote of the ISAC.

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