National eHealth Collaborative launched to replace AHIC

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The National eHealth Collaborative, formerly AHIC Successor, was officially launched Jan. 8 in Washington, D.C., and is a public-private partnership for the creation of a secure and interoperable nationwide health information network (NHIN) to improve the quality and accessibility of healthcare.

The collaborative builds on the accomplishments of the American Health Information Community (AHIC), a federal advisory committee established in 2005, and AHIC Successor, founded in 2008 to transition AHIC’s goals into a new non-profit membership organization, now known as the National eHealth Collaborative (NeHC).

The collaborative said its membership and board represent stakeholders whose participation is needed to drive the development and adoption of an interoperable health system. The list of participating stakeholders includes federal and state agencies, health systems, payors, health professionals, medical centers, community hospitals, patient advocates, major employers, non-profit health organizations, commercial technology providers and others.

The NeHC said it is seeking to provide a forum for stakeholders to vet and prioritize U.S. advancement efforts and leverage the value, resources and best practices offered by both the public and private sectors. The collaborative will work in partnership with the Health IT Standards Panel (HITSP), the Certification Commission for Health IT (CCHIT) and the NHIN, as well as other healthcare and IT member organizations.

The collaborative also said it has offered to President-elect Barack Obama’s administration to promote the use of EHRs and health IT, as part of a U.S. economic stimulus package and healthcare reform.

The NeHC intends to work in the months ahead to accelerate progress on a number of initiatives critical to the achievement of a secure NHIN, including:

  • Standards to guide the development, sharing and updating of confidential individualized health information within a secure national network;
  • Education, guidance and incentives for widespread adoption of EHRs by health systems, health professionals and individuals;
  • Creation of the secure, interoperable network that enables immediate, protected access to personal health information at the point of care, anywhere and anytime;
  • Collaboration among a variety of institutions and organizations to enable broad and confidential exchange of secure, individualized health information; and
  • Partnership with members of the Nationwide Health Information Collaborative and others to develop a governance plan for the NHIN.