Wednesday, June 08, 2005

HHS Releases Report on Nationwide Health Information Exchange

HHS issued a press release announcing its report on nationwide health information exchange. The report issued on June 3, 2005, is titled Summary of Nationwide Health Information Network Request for Information Responses.

The report is a summary of over 500 responses from health care providers and private industry responding to HHS's issuance of a request for information that sought input from the public on how to move forward with a coordinated nationwide health information exchange.

The full report is available here.

Also, HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt announced on June 6, 2005, the formation of a national collaboration called the "American Health Information Community" (AHIC) which will be given the task of developing common standards for electronic health records and make recommendations to HHS on how best to make health records digital and interoperable, while maintaining privacy and security. HHS will solicit nominations for people to serve on the AHIC and Secretary Leavitt will serve as the chairperson.

Four requests for proposals will be issued by HHS to advance the goal of having a nationwide digital health information system within the next 10 years. The RFPs will focus on creating processes for setting data standards, certifications and architecture for an Internet-based nationwide health information exchange. A fact sheet on the RFPs can be found here. Links to the RFP solicitation documents and information on how to participate in the preproposal conference calls can be found here.

Those involved in West Virginia's efforts to create an interoperable health information system bringing together both public and private sector should plan to study the findings in the report and utilize the information in structuring and moving forward with a coordinated statewide project.

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