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National Health Information Network describes the technologies, standards, laws, policies, programs and practices that enable health information to be shared among health decision makers, including consumers and patients, to promote improvements in health and healthcare.
The path to a national network of healthcare information is through the successful establishment of Regional Health Information Organizations (RHIO).
Retrieved from http://www.himss.org/ASP/topics_FocusDynamic.asp?faid=143 on February 24, 2007.
Through NHIN -- Common themes emerged regarding the nature of interoperability and health information exchange:
Information must be available nationwide, in real time, wherever health care is provided (e.g., emergency room, physician’s office, hospital, laboratory).
Information must be secure, exchanged in a patient-centric manner and governed by privacy and access control policies.
Local or regional coordination of health information exchanges needs to support market variation.
RHIO - Regional Health Information Organization
Regional Health Information Organization (RHIO) is a multi-stakeholder organization that enables the exchange and use of health information, in a secure manner, for the purpose of promoting the improvement of health quality, safety and efficiency.
U.S. Department of Health see RHIOs as the building blocks for the national health information network (NHIN). When complete the NHIN will provide universal access to electronic health records.
Federated architecture (decentralized) is an approach to the coordinated sharing and interchange of electronic information emphasizing partial, controlled sharing among autonomous databases within a RHIO.
In a federated architecture, independent databases (decentralized) are connected to share and exchange information. Components in a federated architecture represent the various users, applications, workstations, main frames and other stakeholder components in a RHIO.
Hybrid architecture as the name suggests, is a combination of the two architecture types where various data transactions occur based on a decentralized or centralized method.
For instance, a RHIO may have pharmacy transactions occurring within a federated model while lab data is shared through a centralized database. The providers in a hybrid architecture may decide to share patient data through a CDR or peer to peer.