'NHIN Direct' Launched To Allow Simpler Data Exchange Outside NHIN

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On Monday, Doug Fridsma -- a senior adviser to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT and acting director of ONC's Office of Interoperability and Standards -- announced the launch of "NHIN Direct," a simpler way for physicians and consumers to exchange health data outside of the Nationwide Health Information Network, Government Health IT reports.

He said NHIN Direct will use "lightweight" versions of NHIN's current standards and services to allow for the transfer of electronic data "without having too much technology overhead."

Health providers can use NHIN Direct to:

  • Establish summaries of care records and transition of care referrals;
  • Exchange test results with clinical laboratories; and
  • Reconcile medication.

The system also will supply foundation services and standards to support patient engagement and public health.

Fridsma said ONC hopes NHIN Direct will help to expand participation in the overall NHIN to meet "meaningful use" requirements for electronic health records (Mosquera [1], Government Health IT, 2/25).

Justice Department Model for Health IT Exchange

In related news, ONC is planning to leverage an existing information exchange system used between the departments of Justice and Homeland Security as a test for NHIN.

John Halamka, CIO of Harvard Medical School and co-chair of the federal Health IT Standards Committee, said ONC would add health care functions to DOJ and DHS' National Information Exchange Model.

To test NHIN, ONC is seeking bids from vendors to create a standards and interoperability development process that would generate consistent information exchange definitions.

The agency published the bid request last week (Mosquera [2], Government Health IT, 2/25).


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