By Douglas Goldstein and Peter Groen, Virtual Medical Worlds
In the United States, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONCHIT) and the National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics (NCVHS) have clearly stated that the long-range strategy for a National Health Information Infrastructure (NHII) requires a national health information network (NHIN) that can provide low-cost, secure data movement. They have stated that an NHIN is needed, along with a public-private oversight or management function to ensure adherence to public policy objectives. Development of this infrastructure is considered a vital national priority. The rapid formation and activities of Regional Health Information Organizations (RHIO) across the country represent major public and private sector collaborative efforts aimed at putting in place key components of the planned NHIN. Several of the health information exchange (HIE) systems proposed by the RHIOs make use of open source or "public domain" solutions.