Tuesday, October 6, 2009

NHIN: The New Health Internet?

From what I can find out, this looks more like a ‘re-branding’ effort than an architectural revolution. If this is indeed what it is, then I like it. Well I don’t like the name they came up with, but then I am not marketing.  I do agree that the term “NHIN” has been possessed by a very secretive small number of big-IT-integrators, that lately have opened up. This re-branding is clearly indicating that the consumer interests will take center stage. This was already happening; see the consumer preferences use case, but renewed interest never hurt any project.

The second possibly good move would be to simplify. I have been very concerned that the current success of HITSP and NHIN have caused everyone with anything slightly healthcare related to come out of the woodwork and expect that their problem be solved. Adding too much to too soon will surely kill any forward progress. This is why i am very interested in the HIT Standards efforts to simplify what needs to be done right away. I think there is still way too much on the plate, but atleast the discussion of what is 'good enough' has started.

What I am worried about is the players that have been sitting on the outside these past 5 years coming in and totally changing everything. I am not comforted by John Halamka blog on the topic.

NHIN: The New Health Internet?
In somewhat of a re-branding exercise. Chopra and Park are proposing that the NHIN now be viewed not so much as solely a clinician to clinician care coordination exchange platform but rather one that also will focus on the consumer, creating a secure Health Internet to facilitate consumer access to and ultimately control of their personal health information (PHI). The basic NHIN, let’s now refer to it the Health Internet, is still composed of the same technology stack: platform independent, open source, freely available with published standards, etc. that support an independent software vendor’s (ISV) ability to build apps upon the Health Internet stack for consumer consumption (e.g., health & wellness services, PHRs, etc.). In June, we attended the NHIN CONNECT conference and our write-up provides a few more specifics on the Health Internet. More