Health :: Regenstrief institute selected to help design nationwide health information network

In a move that is viewed as a major step toward developing a secure and portable health information system for all Americans, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has awarded the Indiana University School of Medicine a $2.5 million contract to begin a trial implementation of a Nationwide Health Information Network.

The funding will allow researchers from the Regenstrief Institute Inc., with participation from the Indiana Health Information Exchange, to continue their groundbreaking work in health information exchange. The Indianapolis group is one of only nine selected by HHS to work on NHIN.

The nine groups, who will receive a total of $22.5 million, will participate in a collaboration to test and demonstrate the exchange of private and secure health information among providers, patients and other health care stakeholders.

“Trial implementations of the Nationwide Health Information Network will bring us steps closer to a health IT system that will improve quality of care, increase efficiencies in health care, and improve disease prevention,” said HHS Secretary Michael Leavitt.

HHS is funding this work to create a secure foundation for health information exchange that can follow Americans throughout their lives, a goal set by President Bush. By 2014, the President wants the majority of Americans to have access to secure electronic health records.

“Our selection to participate in this next phase of the Nationwide Health Information Network recognizes Indiana’s leadership in health information technology,” said J. Marc Overhage, M.D., Ph.D., director of medical informatics at the Regenstrief Institute and president and CEO of the Indiana Health Information Exchange. “Health information exchange activities that are already occurring in Indiana helping define the national standard.” Dr. Overhage holds the Regenstrief chair and is professor of medicine at the Indiana University School of Medicine.

This phase of discovery is charged with trial implementation in priority areas including emergency responder-electronic health records, consumer access to clinical information, medication management, quality, personalized healthcare, public health case reporting, response management, remote consultation, remote monitoring and referrals/transfer of care.

In 2005, the office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology established four consortia to design and evaluate standards-based prototype architectures for the NHIN. The IU School of Medicine, Regenstrief and the Indiana Health Information Exchange participated in this activity as part of the Connecting for Health consortium.

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