National Health Information Network (NHIN)

The Nationwide Health Information Network (NHIN) is being developed to provide a secure, nationwide, interoperable health information infrastructure that will connect providers, consumers, and others involved in supporting health and healthcare. This critical part of the national health IT agenda will enable health information to follow the consumer, be available for clinical decision making, and support appropriate use of healthcare information beyond direct patient care so as to improve health.

The NHIN seeks to achieve these goals by:

  •   Developing capabilities for standards-based, secure data exchange nationwide
  •   Improving the coordination of care information among hospitals, laboratories, physicians offices, pharmacies, and other providers
  •   Ensuring appropriate information is available at the time and place of care
  •   Ensuring that consumers’ health information is secure and confidential
  •   Giving consumers new capabilities for managing and controlling their personal health records as well as providing access to their health information from electronic health records (EHRs) and other sources
  •   Reducing risks from medical errors and supporting the delivery of appropriate, evidence-based medical care
  •   Lowering healthcare costs resulting from inefficiencies, medical errors, and incomplete patient information

To promote a more effective marketplace, greater competition, and increased choice through accessibility to accurate information on healthcare costs, quality, and outcomes, The Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) is advancing the NHIN as a “network of networks” which will connect diverse entities that need to exchange health information, such as state and regional health information exchanges (HIEs), integrated delivery systems, health plans that provide care, personally controlled health records, Federal agencies, and other networks as well as the systems to which they, in turn, connect.