The goal of the Nationwide Health Information Network (NHIN) is to provide a truly interoperable nationwide health data exchange. Through the NHIN providers, consumers and all healthcare professionals will have immediate access to healthcare data.
One current problem faced in the adoption of electronic medical records, is that each medical office or region health exchange chooses their own software, this leads to problems with portability and interoperability, so the NHIN hopes to standardize the data exchange. The NHIN is built on the open source software provided by Sun Microsystems. It is under the control the Department of Health and Human Services. This network of networks, as it is commonly referred to, will be built over the internet.
All information will be transmitted electronically in a totally secure environment. By building on an open source platform, the NHIN provides the flexibility and affordability necessary to encourage the adoption of electronic health records. A large network such as the NHIN must be able to work at a Federal, state and local level, not to mention the private healthcare sector. While many states are instituting health information exchanges, there is still some confusion about who bears the burden of responsibility when a patient travels out of the region to receive medical care. The NHIN seeks to eliminate the confusion by have a standard set of policies and procedures in place concerning the transmission and security of the data. Only valid certified entities may enter the NHIN. There are legal agreements in place to allocate the responsibilities and protect the privacy and security of the data.
The first government agency to join the NHIN was the Social Security Administration. They officially came online in March. By connecting to the NHIN, the SSA hopes to transfer and evaluate medical records instantaneously instead of the current weeks or months. http://healthit.hhs.gov/imageserver/plumtree/portal/custom/oncwebsite/hit_header.jpg
Jennifer is a Wisconsin based writer. She has a special interest in technology. Her works have been published in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and online. Her business background has allowed her to work in various fields including; Construction, Accounting and most recently Audio Visual.