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Nationwide Health Information Technology Architecture

The Nationwide Health Information Network (NHIN) 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. A NHIN is a "network of networks" that will securely connect consumers, providers and others who have, or use, health-related data and services, while protecting the confidentiality of health information.

In November 2005, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) awarded four contracts for developing prototype architectures for an NHIN to Accenture, Computer Sciences Corporation, IBM and Northrop Grumman. Each contractor was asked to develop a prototype architecture for the NHIN and to interconnect three communities as a demonstration of the architecture.

The Summary Report of the NHIN Prototype Architecture provides an overview of the NHIN prototype architecture projects and their plans for implementation through NHIN operational services.

Nationwide Health Information Network (NHIN, also NwHIN)

The Nationwide Health Information Network (NHIN, also NwHIN) is a set of standards, services and policies that enable secure health information exchange over the Internet. The network provides a foundation for the exchange of health information across diverse entities, within communities and across the country, helping to achieve the goals of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act of 2009. A group of federal agencies, local, regional and state-level Health Information Exchange Organizations and integrated delivery networks, formerly known as the NHIN Cooperative, has been helping to develop the network standards, services and policies. Today, these organizations are demonstrating live health information exchange through the NHIN Exchange. By the end of 2011, approximately 35 entities, including hospitals, integrated delivery networks (IDNs), health Information organizations (HIOs), state health information exchanges (HIEs), beacon communities and other networks will be securely sharing health information as part of this Exchange. These early implementation experiences help inform ongoing development and adoption of nationwide health information network standards, services and policies.

NHIN activities also include developing policy and technical methods for assuring exchange privacy and security and enabling patient choice, standards and services to support Meaningful Use secure exchange requirements, and technical, and open source tools and technical solutions that support and enable electronic exchange activities.