Nationwide Health Information Network (NHIN): Background
The Nationwide Health Information Network (NHIN) is being developed to provide a secure, nationwide, interoperable health information infrastructure that will connect providers, consumers, and others involved in supporting health and healthcare. This critical part of the national health IT agenda will enable health information to follow the consumer, be available for clinical decision making, and support appropriate use of healthcare information beyond direct patient care so as to improve health.
The NHIN seeks to achieve these goals by:
Promoting a more effective marketplace, greater competition, and increased choice through accessibility to accurate information on healthcare costs, quality, and outcomes The Office of the National Coordinator is advancing the Nationwide Health Information Network (NHIN) as a ‘network of networks,” which will connect diverse entities that need to exchange health information, such as state and regional health information exchanges (HIEs), integrated delivery systems, health plans that provide care, personally controlled health records, Federal agencies, and other networks as well as the systems they, in turn, connect.
ONC is advancing the development of the NHIN using a three-phased approach:
"We have hospitals in Afghanistan and Iraq, and many of the soldiers would arrive without records in Germany, with no record of the CAT scans or what happened in surgery in Afghanistan or Iraq. The clinicians in Germany would have to re-operate on the patient, would have to redo all their x-ray evaluations, CAT scans, etc...." ~ Colonel John Holcomb