Last week, the American Hospital Association submitted public comments stating that the Nationwide Health Information Network's governance structure should build on existing privacy and security standards, AHA News reports (AHA News, 6/28).
NwHIN is a national health IT infrastructure that aims to help health care providers exchange data.
The 2009 federal economic stimulus package called for the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT to establish a governing body for NwHIN.
In May, ONC issued a request for information on the creation of an 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, 6/27).
AHA Comment Letter
Rick Pollack, executive vice president of AHA, in the comment letter recommended that ONC:
- Balance the importance of increasing patient and provider trust in electronic health data exchange;
- Avoid NwHIN requirements that "are unduly burdensome for entities that are small or that offer very limited services related to health information exchange"; and
- Create an NwHIN governance model that is voluntary and not linked to regulatory requirements (Spoerl, Becker's Hospital Review, 6/29).