|HIS – Health Information System
The National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics describes HIS as "a comprehensive, knowledge-based system capable of providing information to all who need it to make sound decisions about health. Such a system can help realize the public interest related to disease prevention, health promotion, and population health." For more information, visit www.himss.org.
HIT - Health Information Technology
HHS describes HIT as the tangible technical aspects of a health information system, including network backbones such as the Internet in its present and future versions; the World Wide Web, wireless connections, hardware, Internet appliances, and handheld devices, as well as applications for information management, decision-support tools, communication, and transactional programs. Also involved are technical capabilities in areas such as bandwidth and latency.(1) For more information, visit www.healthit.hhs.gov.
An act passed by Congress in 2009 that authorizes expenditures of approximately $20 billion over five years to promote the adoption and use of electronic health record technologies that would be connected through a national health information network. »
Nationwide Health Information Network (NHIN)
HHS describes NHIN as an Internet-based architecture that links disparate healthcare information systems to allow patients, physicians, hospitals, community health centers, and public health agencies across the country to share clinical information securely. For more information, visit www.healthit.hhs.gov.
Meaningful Use (MU)
Still pending an official definition from CMS, but ARRA requires that the definition include e-prescribing, the ability to exchange information with other healthcare providers to improve care, and the reporting of clinical quality measures to CMS.
Health Information Exchanges (HIE) and Regional Health Information Organizations (RHIOs)
Health Information Exchanges (HIEs) are organizations that support the exchange of personal health information. Also known as Regional Health Information Organizations (RHIOs), these organizations support the primary goal of the NHIN for interoperable health information systems. RHIOs will be the local collaborative of public/private sector health information exchange partners to facilitate data exchange between EHRs and public health. It is critical that LHDs have representation and are actively involved with RHIOs. Local public health involvement can increase the efficient use and standardization of information that is transmitted to public health, and increase the reliability of data exchange with our partners.
Electronic Health Records
Electronic Health Records are a repository of electronically maintained information about an individual's lifetime health status and healthcare, stored such that it can be accessible to authorized users (e.g., physicians, pharmacists, hospitals, home care) of the record. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) is leading efforts to reach President Bush's call for most Americans to have electronic health records within 10 years. This initiative is part of the movement to advance electronic health information exchange by making health records digital and interoperable, and ensure that the privacy and security of those records are protected, in a smooth, market-led way. For more information, visit www.healthit.hhs.gov.
Personal Health Record (PHR)
BioSense is the national program designed to improve the nation's capabilities for real-time biosurveillance and situational awareness. For more information, visit www.cdc.gov/biosense/.
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA)
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has issued new national health information privacy standards. The new regulations provide protection for the privacy of certain individually identifiable health data, referred to as protected health information (PHI). For more information, visit www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/.
According to the Interoperability Clearing House, "interoperability is the ability of information systems to operate in conjunction with each other encompassing communication protocols, hardware software, application, and data compatibility layers. With interoperable electronic health records, always-current medical information could be available wherever and whenever the patient and attending health professional needed it. At the same time, EHRs would also provide access to treatment information to help clinicians as they care for patients." For more information, visit www.ichnet.org and www.cdc.gov/phin.
LOINC® (Logical Observations, Identifiers, Names, Codes)
LOINC is a clinical term important for laboratory test orders and results, produced by the Regenstrief Institute. For more information, visit www.loinc.org.
Systematized Nomenclature of Human and Veterinary Medicine (SNOMED)
SNOMED is a standardized vocabulary system for medical databases. Current modules contain more than 144,000 terms and are available in at least 12 languages. SNOMED has the potential to become the standard vocabulary for speech recognition systems and computer-based patient records. For more information, visit www.ihtsdo.org or www.nlm.nih.gov/research/umls/Snomed/snomed_main.html.
Health Alert Network (HAN)
HAN is a strong national program, providing vital health information and the infrastructure to support the dissemination of that information at the state and local levels and beyond. The Health Alert Network will function as PHIN's Health Alert component. For more information, visit www2a.cdc.gov/han/Index.asp.
The American Health Information Management Association describes knowledge management as "capturing, organizing, and storing knowledge and experiences of individual workers and groups within an organization and making this information available to others in the organization." For more information, visit www.ahima.org.
Geographical Information Systems (GIS)
GIS is a collection of computer hardware, software, and geographic data for capturing, managing, analyzing, and displaying all forms of geographically referenced information. ESRI is the leading developer of GIS. ESRI GIS provides a common analytical framework in which public health authorities can understand problems and formulate a response, improving incident management and health planning. For more information, visit www.gis.com or www.esri.com.
ArcView is full-featured GIS software for visualizing, analyzing, creating, and managing data with a geographic component. For more information, visit www.esri.com/software/arcgis/arcview/index.html.
Geo-coding is the process of assigning geographic coordinates (e.g., latitude and longitude) to street addresses, as well as other points and features. The features can then be mapped and entered into Geographic Information Systems. To learn more, visit the Harvard Geo-coding Project at www.hsph.harvard.edu/thegeocodingproject/webpage/monograph/.
Health Level 7 (HL7)
HL7 is one of several American National Standards Institute (ANSI) accredited Standards Developing Organizations (SDOs) operating in the healthcare arena. Health Level Seven's domain is clinical and administrative data. For more information, visit www.hl7.org/.
A term used for the practice of medical and public health, supported by mobile devices. The term is most commonly used in reference to using mobile communication devices, such as mobile phones and PDAs, for health services and information.
Environmental Health Tracking (EHT)
EHT is the ongoing collection, integration, analysis, interpretation, and dissemination of data on environmental hazards; exposures to those hazards; and related health effects. The goal of environmental health tracking is to provide information that can be used to plan, apply, and evaluate actions to prevent and control environmentally related diseases. For more information, visit www.cdc.gov/nceh/tracking/.
(1.) Committee on Enhancing the Internet for Health Applications: Technical Requirements and Implementation Strategies, Computer Science and Telecommunications Board, Commission on Physical Sciences, Mathematics, and Applications, National Research Council. 2000. "Networking health: Prescriptions for the Internet." Washington, DC: National Academy Press. Available online at www.nap.edu/books/0309068436/html/.