ONCHIT adds federal healthcare providers to NHIN demo

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The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONCHIT) has added a tenth health information exchange (HIE) composed of federal healthcare providers to the list of nine HIEs recently chosen to demonstrate regional trials of a national health information network (NHIN).

The federal HIE would comprise the Indian Health Service offices, Department of Defense treatment facilities and Veterans Affairs medical centers and clinics, according to John Loonsk, director of ONCHIT’s Office of Interoperability and Standards.

The federal and regional HIEs would operate on identical standards for interoperability, Loonsk said. He added that ONCHIT will seek opportunities to include other HIEs that have expressed interest in joining the trial demonstrations.

“Our target is to increase the value of connecting up and participating,” Loonsk said. “Opportunities in the big tent of the NHIN” include integrated delivery systems in addition to health data banks that provide “health information exchange services for the broader network.”

ONCHIT has identified four core services that support the network that are patient look-up services, information routing and delivery, consumer access controls, and providing electronic data for reporting and analytical uses, Loonsk said.

Some of the HIEs, including the federal NHIE, the Lovelance Clinic Foundation and the New York eHealth Collaborative, will lead working groups in key functional areas during the trial, he added.