Controversies About Building the IT Network

Joseph Conn | Modern Healthcare | February 8, 2012

A couple of days ago, Brian Ahier, blogger and Oregon-based health IT evangelist, started a ruckus on Google+. The spicy discussion centered on an article in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, "Shifts in the architecture of the Nationwide Health Information Network."

Lead author of the article is Dr. Leslie Lenert, professor of medicine and biomedical informatics at the University of Utah School of Medicine in Salt Lake City. Lenert previously headed the National Center for Public Health Informatics at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Both Lenert's article and the dialogue that it catalyzed are worth reading. Lenert wrote about the shift in direction by the federal government in guiding development of the Nationwide Health Information Network.

Most folks reading this will remember that the original NHIN envisioned a “network of networks” formed from linked Regional Health Information Organizations. The Obama administration has adopted a more diffuse approach, funding state-based health information organizations through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, but also supporting a future NwHIN schema with more Web in its DNA...