The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is announcing the launching of the State's Health Information Organization. In a recent Statehouse ceremony Governor John Lynch signed House Bill 489 which officially established New Hampshire's Health Information Organization (NH-HIO). HB 489 is the culmination of several years of collaborative planning among more than 80 stakeholders working closely with the New Hampshire General Court. DHHS' Office of Health Information Technology (OHIT) led the planning effort with support from the Massachusetts eHealth Collaborative (MAeHC) and the NH Institute for Health Policy and Practice at the University of New Hampshire (UNH).
NH-HIO has been carefully designed to meet the goals of protecting the privacy and security of personal health information while creating the infrastructure that will help providers coordinate patient care while reducing administrative costs. For example, with the NH-HIO in place, a patient's primary care provider will be able to securely send an electronic summary of that patient's medical record to a hospital when the patient is admitted or to a specialist when the patient is referred for a consult. In turn, the hospital or specialist will be able to send a record of the hospital or specialist visit, along with laboratory and radiology results associated with the visit, back to the primary care physician. Regardless of where a patient receives care, each care provider will have easier and more timely access to needed patient information than they do today and patients can be assured that only authorized providers have access to personal health information.