Quote Of The Year

Quotes Of The Year - Paul Shetler - "Its not Your Health Record it's a Government Record Of Your Health Information"


H. L. Mencken - "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong."

Thursday, May 08, 2008

The US Starts to Really Build its National Health Information Network.

Two items appeared in the last few days showing that we are starting to really see some substantive progress with the National Health Information Network (NHIN).

First we have just had the following conference:

HIN-HISPC-SLHIE Joint Conference: Fostering Partnerships to Advance Health Information Exchange

The Joint Conference includes participants from three Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) led contracts: the Nationwide Health Information Network (NHIN), the Health Information Security and Privacy Collaboration (HISPC), and the State Level Health Information Exchange Consensus Project (SLHIE). For three days representatives from each of these contracts will share the stage, their knowledge, and expertise.

  • NHIN – As a key element of the national health information technology strategy, the advancement of the NHIN initiative will provide the foundation for interoperable, secure and standards-based health information exchange nationally.
  • HISPC – As a collaborative effort of more than 40 states and territories, the HISPC is focused on developing common, replicable multi-state solutions to the privacy and security challenges states and territories face nationwide with respect to electronic health information exchange.
  • SLHIE – Lead by a steering committee of thirteen state HIE leaders and supported by a broader forum of states, the SLHIE project is developing guiding principles for state-level HIE organizations in the areas of policy, sustainability and accountability.

The Joint Conference will:

  • Enable cross-project discussion of important topics pertinent to each effort including consumer permissions, HIE policies, and sustainability;
  • Advance discussions and develop clarity on how the trial implementations are addressing key aspects of standards-based, private and secure information exchanges via the NHIN;
  • Enlist public input and share experiences from state and regional health information exchanges as they implement and test trial implementations of the NHIN;
  • Discuss how the work of Healthcare Information Technology Standards Panel (HITSP) and the Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology (CCHIT) are being used to inform the NHIN trial implementations;
  • Showcase the privacy and security approaches states and territories are taking to protect health information that is electronically exchanged; and
  • Provide participants with a venue to share ideas and discuss solutions to electronic health information exchange challenges.

The Joint Conference will be open to the public and includes plenary and concurrent breakout sessions.

More here:


Second we have more technical details becoming clear

Project Details

Leaders of the NHIN Connect project said the connection would support six core services:

  • Subject discovery, or patient identification;
  • Document query;
  • Document retrieval;
  • Retrieval of an audit log;
  • Messaging; and
  • Authorization.

David Riley, program manager of NHIN Connect, said ONC and its contractor, Harris, are solidifying service specifications, and they will implement standards endorsed by the Health IT Standards Panel.

In order to interface with a variety of legacy systems in the participating federal agencies and support the agencies' different health information needs, the gateway will use Java and XML technology and a service-oriented architecture, Craig Miller, chief architect for the project, said.

See more here:


and third we have further extension and funding announced.

Six more organizations join NHIN demonstration project

By Nancy Ferris

Published on May 1, 2008

The Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) of Health Information Technology has awarded six more contracts to health systems and health information exchanges for participation in this year’s work to develop a nationwide health information network.

The organizations, which together will receive about $600,000, join more than a dozen other health organizations in the trial implementation phase of NHIN. The project is scheduled to demonstrate live exchange of health records Sept. 28.

That demonstration will not use real health records because of concerns about accidental release of information. The remainder of this year will be devoted to preparations for exchange of actual records for use in health care in 2009.

The nine organizations that won ONC contracts earlier, a group of federal agencies that use health records, and the new organizations are working collaboratively to resolve the technical, security and operational issues associated with large-scale health information exchange.

Dr. John Loonsk, director of ONC’s Office of Interoperability and Standards, told a conference audience in Dallas today that the project participants represent a variety of organizations and missions. “We are embracing them all in the NHIN,” he said.

More here:


It is really starting to look like the initial vision that David Brailer had, to create a 'Health Internet', and the work done by all the various participating entities might be starting to pay off.

We have reached the time when we really need to ‘watch this space’!


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