The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) announced it has successfully transitioned its governance of the Nationwide Health Information Network (NwHIN) to the eHealth Exchange, a public-private partnership which aims to represent ONC’s commitment to support health information exchange innovation in the private sector.
The eHealth Exchange is various federal agencies and private partners which have implemented nationwide health information network standards and services and executed the Data Use and Reciprocal Support Agreement (DURSA). DURSA is a legal agreement that can securely exchange electronic health information. The Exchange Coordinating Committee, which oversees eHealth Exchange, designated Healtheway, a nonprofit organization, assumed operational support of eHealth Exchange as of Oct. 1st, 2012.
Healtheway will aim to support eHealth Exchange with conformance and interoperability testing, on boarding of new participants in eHealth Exchange, and maintenance of the DURSA, operating policies and procedures, the service registry and digital certificates. ONC will continue to establish the national standards that promote interoperable health information exchange.
ONC says its strategy is to be an "incubator" for innovation and its focus on supporting a sustainable ecosystem of organizations that have found secure and scalable ways to exchange health information – all of which ultimately enhance patient care. It says it will continue to work closely with organizations like Direct Trust and Healtheway to ensure the development of secure, effective and cost-efficient health information exchange standards, services and policies, and provide guidance for their implementation.
In a recent Health IT Policy Committee meeting, Farzad Mostashari, M.D., National Coordinator for Health IT, said now wasn’t the time for NwHIN governance.