NH DHHS Receives Approval of Health Information Exchange Plan

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Office of Health Information Technology (OHIT) is announcing it has received approval of its Health Information Exchange (HIE) Strategic and Operational Plans. The Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) approved the plan, which details how New Hampshire will support and encourage the exchange of secure and reliable health information among stakeholders and regional networks to improve the safety, quality and efficiency of healthcare.

“This approval is a critical step in the process of building a Health Information Exchange,” said DHHS Commissioner Nicholas Toumpas. “This will provide the necessary funding and momentum to continue the hard work necessary to successfully plan for and implement Health Information Exchange capability in NH.”

DHHS received a $5.5 million federal grant for the New Hampshire Health Information Exchange Planning and Implementation Project (HIEPI) back in February of 2010. The first ten percent of the award was provided to aid in research and planning activities. The remainder of the award was contingent on ONC’s approval of the Strategic and Operational Plans.

The plans lay the groundwork for continuing collaborative efforts among key stakeholder groups to produce a comprehensive business and communication plan by early 2011 with implementation beginning later this year.

The acquisition and deployment of Health Information Technology (HIT) and Health Information Exchange (HIE) throughout the healthcare system(s) in New Hampshire offers a unique opportunity to make substantial progress in improving the health of our citizens. The direct benefits include: improved patient safety and healthcare quality, consumer engagement and empowerment, enhanced ability to track public health benchmarks, reduced healthcare costs, and better access to care.