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July/August 2009

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ASTM President Visits China

Agenda Includes Meetings with Standardization Organizations
and a Lecture at Tsinghua University

James Thomas at Tsinghua University, China

ASTM President James Thomas lectures to more than 40 mechanical engineering students at Tsinghua University, one of the most prestigious engineering schools in China. Thomas answered questions about the benefits of standards, standards development and management systems, and student membership in ASTM International.

ASTM International President James A. Thomas visited China from April 19-23. During his time there, Thomas met with officials at several standardization agencies and gave a lecture to students at one of the most prestigious engineering schools in China. The trip gave Thomas the opportunity to enhance communication with standards organizations currently partnering with ASTM, as well as to establish relationships with other entities.

Thomas visited the following organizations during his trip to China:

  • Standardization Administration of the People’s Republic of China — While at SAC, Thomas noted the spirit of cooperation between SAC and ASTM and the recent shift in SAC leadership. Discussions focused on multiple options for development and application of international standards as well as potential future programs.
  • China National Institute of Standardization — Thomas and CNIS officials signed a renewed cooperative agreement and discussed the importance of technical quality and market relevance of international consensus standards.
  • China Association for Standardization — During his visit, Thomas learned more about standardization and certification activities at CAS. He and CAS staff also reflected on ASTM’s first delegation to visit China in 1988 and the interactions that have occurred between ASTM and CAS since that time.
  • Ministry of Industry and Information Technology — Thomas spoke with staff on issues involved with European Union legislation on restriction of hazardous substances.

In addition to meetings with standardization organizations, Thomas visited Tsinghua University, where he delivered a lecture to more than 40 engineering students on ASTM student membership, the importance of standardization to university students and the current ASTM Year of the Professor program. During a question and answer session that followed the lecture, Thomas touched on a number of topics, including benefits of standards, reliability in application, standards development and management systems.

Thomas’ travels in China also took him to Jinan, Shandong Province, where he met with officials from the Shandong Bureau of Quality and Technical Supervision, visiting the standards library and service center, the radio frequency identification research center of the Shandong Institute of Standardization and food safety testing laboratories at the Shandong Supervision and Inspection Institute. While there, Thomas made a presentation to technical and standards experts from the government and industries throughout the province.

Thomas’ itinerary during the trip also included a stop at the 8th International Exhibition on Nuclear Power in Beijing.

High-Performance Buildings Coalition Publishes Report

Recommendations Would Allow for the Development of High-Performance Federal Buildings

ASTM International is a member of the High-Performance Buildings Congressional Caucus Coalition, a private-sector coalition providing guidance and support to the High-Performance Buildings Congressional Caucus of the U.S. Congress.

The HPBCCC has recently issued a set of recommendations that would allow the widespread development of high-performance federal buildings. This report, Producing High-Performance Federal Buildings, was developed at the request of Rep. Russ Carnahan (D-Mo.), co-chair of the High-Performance Building Congressional Caucus.

The recommendations include:

  • Require true life-cycle analysis and decision making for the acquisition of federal buildings;
  • Require total building commissioning for the federal building stock;
  • Require integrated product delivery, including whole building design, procurement and construction for federal buildings;
  • Require comprehensive education and training and higher levels of competence in the federal building design, property management, operations and maintenance, and procurement communities; and
  • Require the collection, storage, dissemination and utilization of federal building performance data.

“These recommendations, if implemented through upcoming energy legislation, will provide an effective transition to reduced energy consumption, enhanced sustainability, improved building operation and maintenance and more efficient use of national resources in the federal building stock,” says Doug Read, program director of government affairs, American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, and chair of the coalition.

More information and a copy of the report can be found by clicking here.

ASTM hosts the China Textile AcademyASTM International staff met with four officials from the China Textile Academy at ASTM headquarters on May 12. The meeting allowed for information exchange regarding ASTM Committee D13 on Textiles and related topics, and opened lines of communication between the two organizations. Pictured (left to right): Jennifer Rogers, D13 staff manager, ASTM International; Claire Guan, interpreter; Li Zhien, vice director, China Textiles Testing and Supervision Center; Zheng Yuying, vice director, Standardization Institute of the China Textile Academy; Fang Xijiang, director, Standardization Institute of the China Textile Academy; Teresa Cendrowska, vice president, Global Cooperation, ASTM International; Hong Yan, executive, consultation division, Standardization Institute of the China Textile Academy; and Jessica Hychalk, manager, Global Cooperation, ASTM International.

ASTM’s Chief Representative in China Participates in Training Series

Liu Fei Speaks on ASTM Standards, Regulation and Trade in Hong Kong, Dongguan and Shanghai

Liu Fei, ASTM International’s chief representative in China, was invited to speak during a series of three training seminars presented April 15-17 by Centre Testing International, one of the leading third-party testing companies in China. Liu Fei spoke on ASTM standards, regulation and trade, particularly with regard to safety issues with toys and textiles. The training sessions occurred in Hong Kong, Dongguan (Guangdong Province) and Shanghai.

Nearly 200 people, mostly from trading companies and manufacturers dealing with toys, attended the Hong Kong program. More than 700 representatives from the toy and textiles industries attended the meeting in Dongguan. The Shanghai meeting attracted more than 200 consumer product manufacturers.

According to Liu Fei, participants at all three sessions expressed interest in and had questions about ASTM F963, Consumer Safety Specification for Toy Safety. The sessions provided an excellent opportunity for participants to learn more about the toy standard as well as about other standardization activities of ASTM International.

Olshefsky and Tanaka at the ICES event

ASTM board member Masami Tanaka (right) meets with James Olshefsky (left) during the ICES poster session.

ASTM Participates in International Cooperation for Education About Standardization Conference

ASTM Board Member Masami Tanaka Delivers Keynote Address at ICES Event

The 2009 International Cooperation for Education about Standardization Conference was held March 23-24 in Tokyo, Japan. The conference was organized by the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

About 80 attendees from 11 countries listened to presentations from organizations located around the world that have developed programs on standards education. Masami Tanaka, president of the Japan Testing Center for Construction Materials and an ASTM board member, delivered the keynote speech, “Evolutions of Standards Education in the World.” Later, ASTM’s director of external relations James Olshefsky participated in a panel discussion, “How to Sell Education on Standardization to Universities, Industries, etc.”

James Olshefsky meets KSA President Kaphong Choi

Korean Standards Association President Kaphong Choi (right) welcomes James Olshefsky (left) during a recent visit to KSA offices in Seoul, Korea.

ASTM Staff Member Visits Japanese and Korean Standards Organizations

Olshefsky Makes Presentations at JSA, KATS and KSA

James Olshefsky, ASTM director of external relations, visited Japan and Korea in March. While in Japan, Olshefsky made a presentation to staff members of the International Affairs Support Division of the Japanese Standards Association on ASTM’s memorandum of understanding program, electronic tools for standards development and educational outreach efforts.

During his time in Korea, Olshefsky made presentations at the Korean Agency for Technology and Standards (with which ASTM has a memorandum of understanding) and the Korean Standards Association. In addition, while in Seoul, Olshefsky made several industry-related visits focusing on the steel and textile sectors.

Microsoft, Google Programs for Electronic Health Records Use ASTM International CCR Standard

The 2009 version of the Microsoft platform Amalga Unified Intelligence System incorporates ASTM E2369, Specification for Continuity of Care Record (CCR), a patient health information summary standard intended to support continuity of care, reduce medical errors and increase efficiency by eliminating duplication of tests and procedures.

The CCR standard, which was developed by ASTM International Committee E31 on Healthcare Informatics, is a way to create flexible XML (extensible markup language) documents that contain the most relevant and timely health information about a patient and to send these electronically from one caregiver to another, with the intention of providing better quality of care. It includes various sections such as patient demographics, insurance information, diagnosis and problem list, medications, allergies and care plan.

With the CCR, a core set of data can be sent to the next health care provider whenever a patient is referred, transferred or otherwise uses different clinics, hospitals or other providers. A number of groups participated in the CCR’s development, including clinical specialty societies, professional organizations, insurers, vendors, health care institutions, state and federal agencies and patient advocacy organizations.

Amalga UIS 2009 will utilize the CCR standard through connectivity to HealthVault, a Web-based program that lets individuals create a record and store personal health information online. According to Microsoft Corp., the Amalga UIS program will allow health care professionals to, once authorized by the patient, pull important information such as a patient’s medication lists, allergies and vital signs like blood pressure and blood glucose from the patient’s HealthVault record. In turn, health care providers can push any patient data from the hospital, including test results, medications and discharge summaries, to the patient’s record using the ASTM CCR standard. The patient is then able to access and share the information from his or her personal CCR with family and other health care providers.

New York-Presbyterian Hospital, ranked sixth in the nation on the U.S. News & World Report Honor Roll of America’s Best Hospitals, is currently using Microsoft Amalga UIS to collect various patient data such as electrocardiogram reports, surgery reports and discharge medications, and then sending it to the patient’s personal HealthVault record using the ASTM CCR standard.

“It’s very gratifying to see the value that the CCR standard is bringing to efforts to exchange computable health data, like that between Microsoft and New York-Presbyterian Hospital,” says Dr. David Kibbe, senior adviser, American Academy of Family Physicians, and chair of ASTM Committee E31. “The goal here is to make health data accessible and actionable, so as to help care be more coordinated and a better experience for patients. Microsoft, Google and many others are collaborating with top health care organizations and their clinicians to improve care with these innovations in information technology systems, and the CCR standard is contributing in an important way.”

The CCR standard is also being used by the Google Health application, a personal health record service that allows users to create an online health profile by importing personal data from organizations such as pharmacies and lab companies. Launched in May 2008, Google Health permits users to send their summary health information, using the CCR standard XML format, to other Web portals and services as needed.

Major pharmacies such as CVS and Walgreens have partnered with Google Health, offering their customers the opportunity to import their full prescription history into the program using the CCR. With many patients taking more than one medication, having all of their prescription information stored in one place is beneficial to both patients and pharmacists.

For technical information, contact Dr. David Kibbe, The Kibbe Group LLC, Pittsboro, N.C. (phone: 919-647-9651). For additional details about the use of the ASTM E2369 CCR standard and related standards for health data and information exchange, click here.