NH DHHS - State Health Information Organization Officially Launched

Concord, NH – 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).

“Technology should do for the health care industry what it is has done for

many other industries, and that’s create efficiency and lower costs. By

signing House Bill 489 into law that is exactly what we are doing here in

New Hampshire,” Gov. Lynch said. “This new law allows the creation of a

health information organization, which will mean a faster, easier and more

secure transfer of health records, saving time and money, while still

protecting patient privacy.”

“This new law institutes an organization to develop a safe and secure

pathway for the transmittal of information for clinical decision making

purposes,” said New Hampshire State Representative Alida Millham. “The

planning process for this legislation and been long and careful. It

represents a process that included all the stakeholders and worked to

represent all the needs for such a structure. This is an important step in

our collective desire for an efficient, effective, safe, accountable, and

high quality health care system.”

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.

“Coordinating the multitude of governmental and private sector health

technology initiatives is a massive and complex undertaking, even in a

small state like ours,” said David Towne, the New Hampshire State Health IT

Coordinator. “I envision that the NH-HIO will be a unifying, collaborative

organization that will identify and implement cross-cutting “win-win”

health IT initiatives that benefit health care providers, health care

purchasers, and most of all, patients.”

“The establishment of NH-HIO is a testament to the vision, dedication, and

hard work of health care providers, state government leaders, health

insurers, and consumers across the Granite State. A secure statewide

network will be a great boost to the individual technological advances that

hospitals and physicians have already been making here,” said Micky

Tripathi, CEO of the Massachusetts eHealth Collaborative.

“The launch of NH-HIO marks an important step forward for New Hampshire on

a path that started with Governor John Lynch's and the NH Citizens Health

Initiative's efforts surrounding ePrescribing and health information

exchange between 2007 and 2009," said Patrick Miller, NH Institute for

Health Policy and Practice, University of New Hampshire. "We are now

clearly on the path to a health care system that delivers safer, higher

quality, more coordinated, and more efficient care with the assistance of


NH-HIO plans to hold its first Board of Directors meeting later this month

and will begin operating as a private not-for-profit corporation shortly


For more information about DHHS’ OHIT visit

www.dhhs.state.nh.us/hie/index.htm  for information about the

Massachusettes eHealth Collaborative visit www.maehc.org; and for

information about the NH Institute for Health Policy and Practice visit: