Health Management Information Language
In the health care sector, there is no full utilization of personal health information due to fragmentation of information during creation as well as storage. In real essence, the health information system is usually isolated within diverse situations such as physician practices, hospitals, pharmacies, or even laboratories. There are other variances such as reliance on different healthcare providers, increase in specialty health care, changes in insurance coverage, among more others, contributing to information that is fragmented, an interoperable system. Additionally, many factors in the society undermine the need alteration of this state of fragmented health information (Pareschi & Arcelli Fontana, 2015). Citizens being a mobile population demand access of health facilities at different healthcare centers. This movement undermines the combination of personal health information. The resulting fragmentation of client’s data is characterized with deteriorated health care services since there is displacement of vital information which is essential for quality services, and may also be important when assigning certain treatment services. In this article, it will discuss CHIN, RHIO, NHIN, and HITECH Act, and the relation between them as measures applied to overcome this profound challenge of fragmented personal health data.
As a way of addressing the persisted challenge in storage as well as creation of client’s health information, health professionals in cooperation with policy makers, industry groups, and researcher identified a health information exchange. Health information exchange represents a process through which there is sharing of patient-level electronic data between various institutions. It is taken as a measure which can help in integration of personal health information with an aim of increasing health care services offered to consumers. It allows transfer of electronic transfer of health information among organizations (LaTour, Eichenwald, & Oachs, 2013). However, despite the high potential of health information exchange (HIE) to address the earlier stated challenge, it needs more support for its efficiency. This support may come from policy makers, medical practitioners, researchers, or any other industry group. Over the years, there have been various revolutions to support this integration of information.
Recently, in 2009, the federal government passed the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act, commonly referred to as Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act as a measure to improve the integration of the fragmented personal health information (Denison & Montevoy, 2011). This can be counted as one of the most recent intervention by the federal government to support health information exchange. HITECH Act is a legislation that stimulates the implementation of electronic health records and at the same time supporting technology in the United State. The legislation requires electronic health record to be connected in a way that offers for the health information in a bid to advance the quality of healthcare, so as it can be eligible for any inducement pay. This federal support is not the only initiative which can be counted to be contributing towards the enhancement of HIE. In fact, over a long time, there has been existence of collaboration and organizations as an intervention towards achievement of HIE.
Before the implementation of this law there existed National Health Information Network (NHIN). It represented a set of standards, services, and policies that that assist in to secure health information exchange over the internet. Originally, NHIN was inherited from National health information infrastructure project dated back in 2006. With time, the NHIN has gone through various modifications. In 2009, there was some adjustment done on the NHIN so that it could help to meet some goal of the HITECH Act (Kinicki & Williams, 2008). The National Health Informational Network can be viewed as one of the primary goal by HITECH Act. In simple terms, NHIN is a kind of framework which allows the Internet to be employed for health care data exchange hence should not thought as a new or closed network. It is one of the achievement required stipulated by the HITECH Act.
NHIN is the logical successor of the earlier Regional Health Information Organizations (RHIOs). RHIOs replica unlike NHIN, it was run by large big health organizations that decided, who was eligible and not illegible to participate. RHIOs assisted to bring together the entire care practitioners within a certain defined geographical location and also maintain health information exchange among them. RHIOs can be described as the initial steps for development of the national network made of many networks that would eventually to connect every one. Regional Health Information Organizations can be described as one of the strategies which helped in laying foundation for NHIN. In RHIOs, patients, smaller medical personnel practice, as well as community hospitals would run under patronage of RHIOs and their good benevolence. Despite starting with similar premises as NHIN, each has a different implementation strategy. RHIOs implementation did not succeed. The success of NHIN implementation strategy is yet to be seen, however, it might take several years before it is remarkable.
Community Health Information Network (CHIN) is the earlier version which was preceded by RHIOs (. It has similar factors with RHIOs, however, regional health information organizations have moved beyond these factors. Unlike CHINs which failed back in 1980s, RHIOs have benefitted in good measure from Information Technology advances in both connectivity as well as data sharing (Pareschi & Arcelli Fontana, 2015). To some extent, CHINs almost share a similar definition as RHIOs. They are described as a network which provides technological oriented information services in a quest of obtaining and maintaining an optimal health for the citizens of a certain community. The initial impulsion for Community Development Information Technology was to facilitate paying for healthcare services and/or sharing of medical records. CHIN faces obstacles such as complex legal, control issues, funding, and organizational problems. There is also high concern about information privacy as well as role of CHIN in quality care. When potentials are implemented, advanced CHIN could offer extensive cost recovering health-oriented services to providers, clients, as well as related agencies.
However, in 1983, CHINs were substituted with RHIOs which were defined to be more effective than their CHIN. Most of the same problems that faced CHINs had similar magnitude to RHIOs, hence not very effectively addressing Health Information Exchange albeit, both are counted as a part of the journey towards achieving HIE. To improve the sharing of health information among organizations, there was formation of NHIN, which provided a framework that could be helpful. The NHIN came as a result of the initial interventions made by CHINs and RHIOs. As earlier outlined, in 2009, there was some few adjustment in the NHIN so that it could address the requirements of HITECH Act. Therefore, ranging from CHINs, RHIOs, NHINs, to recent HITECH Act, can be define as an evolution in the attaining primary goal of HMIS.
Summing up, it is clear that there are various interventions which have been adopted as strategies to support success of health information exchange. CHINs, RHIOs, NHINS, and HITECH Act, are some of the interventions which can be used in description of the evolution of support towards attaining efficient health information exchange. CHINs which were not very effective were replaced with RHIOs. However both were not very successful. As a result, there was a need to make a better framework that would allow smooth sharing of health information. This scenario led to development of NHIN which composes a set of standards, policies as well as services that sustain secure HIE. In 2009, NHIN was adjusted so as to address one of the requirements of the HITECH Act. In other worlds, currently, NHIN can be seen as one of the primary goals of the policy. The legislation on the other hand, can be viewed as n intervention to strengthen the already existing interventions in attaining and maintaining Health Information Exchange.
Denison, C. & Montevoy, E. (2011). Transforming healthcare with health information technology. New York: Nova Science Publishers. http://link.bu.edu/portal/Transforming-healthcare-with-health-information/Sgd04PtcCSE/
Kinicki, A. & Williams, B. (2008). Management. New York: McGraw-Hill/Irwin. https://www.studyblue.com/notes/b/management-a-practical-introduction/16383/0
LaTour, K., Eichenwald, S., & Oachs, P. (2013). Health information management. Chicago, Ill.: AHIMA.
Pareschi, R. & Arcelli Fontana, F. (2015). Information-driven network analysis: evolving the a complex networks paradigm. Mind Soc.
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