Washington — A public-private partnership dedicated to the creation of a secure, interoperable, nationwide health information network launched last week. The National eHealth Collaborative, which builds on the accomplishments of the American Health Information Community (AHIC) and AHIC Successor Inc., brings stakeholders together to accelerate development of the health IT systems, infrastructure, standards, protections, participation and education needed to create a nationwide electronic health information network.

The membership and board represent virtually all stakeholders whose participation is needed to drive the rapid development and adoption of an interoperable health system. The list of participating stakeholders includes federal and state agencies, health systems, payers, health professionals, medical centers, community hospitals, patient advocates, major employers, non-profit health organizations, commercial technology providers and others.

The Collaborative works in close partnership with the Health Information Technology Standards Panel (HITSP), the Certification Commission for Health Information Technology (CCHIT), the Nationwide Health Information Network (NHIN) and other health and IT member organizations.

The National eHealth Collaborative intends to work cooperatively and aggressively in the months ahead to accelerate progress on a number of initiatives critical to the achievement of a secure, nationwide electronic health information network, including:

• Consistent standards to guide the development, sharing and updating of confidential individualized health information within a secure national network

• Education, guidance and incentives for widespread adoption of electronic health records by health systems, health professionals and individuals

• Creation of the secure, interoperable network that enables immediate, consistent, protected access to relevant personal health information at the point of care, anywhere and anytime it is needed

• Collaboration among a variety of institutions and organizations to enable broad, efficient, seamless and confidential exchange of secure, individualized health information—leading to system-wide improvements in health outcomes, access and quality of care, as well as reduced costs over time

• Partnership with members of the Nationwide Health Information Collaborative and others to develop a governance plan for the Nationwide Health Information Network

In December 2008, under the auspices of AHIC Successor Inc., the group elected John Tooker, M.D., M.B.A., EVP and CEO of the American College of Physicians, to serve as Chair of the 2009 Board of Directors. Kevin Hutchison, president and CEO of Prematics Inc., was elected vice chair and Thomas Fritz, M.A., M.P.A., CEO of Inland Northwest Health Services, will serve as Treasurer. Laura Miller, M.P.A., FACHE, National eHealth Collaborative interim executive director, will act as secretary. The complete Board list, with committee chairs, can be found at www.nationalehealth.org.

Source: National eHealth Collaborative

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