NAHIT issues final key health IT definitions
NAHIT solidifies health IT definitions to unify industry understanding. Source: Third Health IT Summit  
The National Alliance for Health Information Technology (NAHIT) has released a final consensus for the definitions of six key health IT terms.

The terms are electronic medical record, electronic health record (EHR), personal health record (PHR), health information exchange (HIE) and regional health information organization (RHIO). The dual interpretations of HIE as both a process and an entity, created a need for a sixth term - health information organization (HIO) – to clarify the difference between the process of information exchange and the oversight and accountability functions necessary to support that process, according to NAHIT.

The project was funded by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONCHIT) to address the need to clarify terminology used in health IT policy, regulation, contracts and other initiatives, according to AHA News.

“We have developed what we believe to be clear, consistent definitions that offer both immediate and longer term practical benefits,” said Jane Horowitz, the alliance’s chief marketing officer, who led the project.

The report includes a summary of the deliberations and conclusions of the two work groups that established the definitions. It also explains how adopting the definitions could boost health IT interoperability.

According to Health Data Management, the report and definitions will be presented to the American Health Information Community (AHIC), an HHS advisory group, for final approval on June 3.

NAHIT’s final report, including the definitions, is available online.