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Nationwide Health Information Network Committee


On July 21, 2004 the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) announced the decade of health information technology (HIT) for “Delivering Consumer–centric and Information-rich health care.” The vision is to build a Nationwide Health Information Network (NHIN) of regional health information organizations (RHIO) to enable regional health information exchanges (RHIEs). The RHIO and RHIE would in turn be formed of health care providers integrated via electronic health record systems (EHR-S) to improve patient safety and deliver quality care. The EHRS is a pivotal instrument in integrating clinical and public health data systems - EHR-Public Health (EHR-PH), so public health authorities will have reliable, real-time data to protect the public's health.

The purpose of the PHDSC Nationwide Health Information Network Committee is to foster awareness, partnerships and collaboration at the local, state and national levels in the development of the regional health information exchanges.

Specific actions toward improving population health include:

  • Unifying public health surveillance architecture
  • Streamlining quality and health status monitoring
  • Accelerating research and dissemination of evidence






Anna Orlova
Associate Professor
Johns Hopkins School
of Public Health

Dave Ross
Public Health
Informatics Institute

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Important Terms

NATIONWIDE HEALTH INFORMATION NETWORK (NHIN) 1  is a health information technology strategy that will provide the foundation for an interoperable, standards-based network for the secure exchange of health care information.

ELECTRONIC HEALTH RECORD (EHR) 2  is information, assembled and maintained in an electronic format which pertains to the health status of an individual and the health services delivered to an individual.

INTEROPERABILITY 3  is the ability of two or more systems or components to exchange information and to use the information that has been exchanged.

1 adapted from Department of Health and Human Services Health Information Technology Strategy, 2004

2 adapted from Institute of Medicine Report, 2002

3 adapted from HL7 EHR Interoperability Working Group, 2007