Nationwide Health Information Network

What have you found to be the most valuable contributions of the initiative to build upon as the press for health information exchange continues to progress in this country?

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The Nationwide Health Information Network (NwHIN) is a most significant Health Information Exchange (HIE) initiative that was developed by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) to comply with the HITECH Act for the meaningful use of IT in healthcare (ONC, 2014). NwHIN contributed to healthcare IT development in numerous ways, primarily through the creation of standards and policies for information exchange. What appears to be the most significant contribution, though, is the fact that NwHIN implemented these standards and policies, and was the first to do so (ONC, 2014, par. 1). As a pioneer, NwHIN became the foundation for the modern healthcare information exchange that provides its services for federal and certain non-federal agencies and private organizations that wish to improve the healthcare of the US.

Based on your readings, what is the Nationwide Health Information Network? Why is it relevant to our healthcare system?

ONC (n.d.) describes NwHIN as an “ecosystem of electronic exchange activities and network service providers across the nation” (p. 12). This definition emphasizes the complexity of the Network. It is relevant to the modern healthcare system primarily because it is a step forward from the point of view of information exchange. The human world and most of our activities depend on information exchange, and healthcare will inevitably benefit from participating in the development of HIE. ONC (n.d.) points out several specific features of NwHIN that make it relevant for the modern healthcare system: it is governed by specific standards and policies, it is aimed at information exchange needs of the modern communities, and it is continuously developing and expanding. Apart from that, it is diverse (for example, direct information exchange forms coexist with query techniques), which helps it to attend to the varied needs of the community.

References

CommonWell Health Alliance. (2015). CommonWell Health Alliance Members. Web.

ONC & HHS. (2014). Report to Congress. Web.

ONC. (2012). Southeast Minnesota Beacon Community. Web.

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ONC. (2014). Nationwide Health Information Network Exchange. Web.

ONC. (n.d.). Connecting Health and Care for the Nation. Web.

Surescripts. (n.d.). Why Choose Surescripts. Web.

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