Harris to develop national gateway for sharing patient records

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The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has chosen Harris, an international communications and IT company, to develop and integrate an open-source, National Health Information Exchange Gateway solution, as part of the larger National Health Information Network initiative.

The gateway will enable federal healthcare agencies and healthcare providers to more quickly and easily share patient information – improving the quality of care and reducing costs, Harris said.

Under the contract, Harris will provide the Gateway Core Services, customized software that can be downloaded by providers to quickly enable connection to the National Health Information Network, and a software development kit which will allow providers to customize the gateway while connected to the network.

Initially, the information exchange will connect government healthcare providers within the Department of Defense (DoD), Veterans Administration (VA), Social Security Administration, and Indian Health Service to provide access and exchange of vital patient medical records.  The second phase of the deployment will move the core components into the public domain, essentially creating a web-based healthcare information exchange among providers of all specialties and sizes, according to the Melbourne, Fla.-based company.

The gateway will integrate and reuse technology based on the Cancer Biomedical Informatics Grid used by the National Cancer Institute and the Bi-directional Health Information Exchange that currently provides for medical information exchange between the DoD and the VA, Harris said.