National Coordinator for Health IT Dr. David Brailer believes regional health information organizations' mission will change as the federal government continues its work to build a national network, Health Data Management reports.
HHS recently awarded four contracts to develop national health information network prototypes, and the tools to create and connect a national network could be available by the end of 2007. According to Brailer, it then will be difficult to justify the development of regional networks that share information locally. Instead, he expects RHIOs to evolve into advisory or governing bodies that will determine how to share data across regions or states, Health Data Management reports.
"In two years, most RHIOs won't have reached a critical mass stage of acceptance and will have the option of changing their strategy," Brailer said.
Brailer noted that while some RHIOs might continue to handle technical aspects, most will not be able to make the systems affordable. "Most RHIOs will want to make local decisions on how data will be shared," Brailer said, adding that who controls the data is more important than the technology. "The less centralization there is, the more value people will see because they will have more decision making ability" (Health Data Management, 1/5).