On Monday, the Certification Commission for Health IT released public comments stating that a public-private partnership would be better suited than a federal body to oversee the Nationwide Health Information Network, Healthcare IT News reports (Manos, Healthcare IT News, 6/27).
NwHIN is a national health IT infrastructure that aims to help health care providers exchange data (iHealthBeat, 6/21).
The 2009 federal economic stimulus package called for the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT to establish a governing body for NwHIN (Healthcare IT News, 6/27).
In May, ONC issued a request for information on the creation of a NwHIN governance structure. According to an ONC presentation, the NwHIN governance mechanism will include rules on technical, business practice, privacy and security requirements to establish a common trust framework for the exchange (iHealthBeat, 6/21).
Karen Bell -- chair of CCHIT and former director of ONC's Office of Health IT Adoption -- said NwHIN governance would require input from a variety of stakeholders, including public health officials, health care providers, consumers and third-party users outside the federal government.
She added that a public-private partnership would give ONC another source of stakeholder input on NwHIN governance beyond its current advisory committees.
Bell warned that the federal government should not interfere too much with the creation of NwHIN standards since the health data exchange industry still is in a state of development (Healthcare IT News, 6/27).