The Nationwide Health Information Network is the set of standards, services and policies that enable secure health information exchange over the Internet. The network provides a foundation for the exchange of health information across diverse entities, within communities and across the country, helping to achieve the goals of the HITECH Act.

It is a coalition of stakeholders involved in health information exchange which includes:

  • Federal agencies
  • State, regional, and local health information organizations
  • Integrated delivery networks
  • Private organizations

Through this structure, stakeholders together develop and implement standards, services, and policies that foster secure health information exchange over the Internet. These would include sharing digital certificates, registries, and data use.

The government agencies involved in the NwHIN are:

  • Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)
  • Department of Defense (DoD)
  • Social Security Administration (SSA)
  • Veterans Administration (VA).

The HITECH Act requires the ONC to establish a governance mechanism for the NwHIN. Learn more about the current status of NwHIN Governance.

Dr. Fridsma is the director of the Office of Standards and Interoperability and the Acting Chief Scientist in the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology.

Listen to Dr. Fridsma discuss the NwHIN and health exchange in an interview at the HIMSS 2012 conference.