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Health Information Exchange

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The Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) contracted the former organization, National Alliance for Health Information Technology (NAHIT) to create and report on key health IT definitions. Their report was published in April of 2008 with these definitions being adopted:

Health Information Exchange (HIE) – The electronic movement of health-related information among organizations according to nationally recognized standards. (verb)

Health Information Organization (HIO) – An organization that oversees and governs the exchange of health-related information among organizations according to nationally recognized standards. (noun)

Regional Health Information Organization (RHIO) – A health information organization that brings together health care stakeholders within a defined geographic area and governs health information exchange among them for the purpose of improving health and care in that community.

Today the ONC has further adopted the use of HIE. On HealthIT.gov, the term "health information exchange" (HIE) is explained using two related concepts:

As a Verb: The electronic sharing of health-related information among organizations.
As a noun: An organization that provides services to enable the electronic sharing of health-related information.

The State Health Information Exchange Cooperative Agreement Program is authorized by the Public Health Service Act created through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). It is designed to promote health information exchange (HIE) across the health care system. Federal policies and initiatives were adopted in the belief that "appropriate and secure electronic exchange of health information will improve care coordination, clinical outcomes, and the patient experience". In March of 2010, States, eligible Territories, and qualified State Designated Entities received $564,000,000 of grants in a Federal-State Collaboration to facilitate and expand the secure electronic exchange of health information.

Solutions, Tools, and Products

Find a Local Healthcare Information Exchange

  • National Rural Health Resource Center HIE Toolkit to assist rural settings in organizing and starting a health information exchange.

ONC Resources

Other Resources

  • HIEAnswers.net - independent news media site on Health Information Exchange
  • NHINWatch - a comprehensive guide to the Nationwide Health Information Network.
  • AHIMA – Health Information Exchange

Related Terms and Acronyms

  • CTE – Conditions for Trusted Exchange
  • FHA – Federal Health Architecture
  • HIE – Health Information Exchange
  • HIO – Health Information Organization
  • HIPAA - Health Insurance. Portability and Accountability Act
  • HISP - health information service provider
  • IIHI -Individually Identifiable Health Information
  • MPI – Master Patient (or person) Index
  • NwHIN – Nationwide Health Information Network
  • OSI – Office of Standards and Interoperability
  • RLS – Record Locator Service
  • SDE – State Designated Entity



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Last Updated: March 20, 2013