New Hampshire establishes health information organization

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Department for Health and Human Services (DHHS) officials in New Hampshire have announced the launch of the state’s health information organization (HIO).

The organization will be responsible for the coordination of the state’s healthcare IT initiatives. The establishment of the HIO follows the passing of House Bill 489, which Governor John Lynch signed into law in a Statehouse ceremony recently. New Hampshire state officials worked alongside NH Institute for Health Policy and Practice at the University of New Hampshire (UNH) and the Massachusetts eHealth Collaborative to plan how the HIO will benefit medical professionals of the Granite State.

Governor Lynch said that “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.”

One major project that the newly formed HIO is expected to oversee is the development of New Hampshire’s proposed health information exchange (HIE). The NH DHHS was awarded $5.5 million through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to fund the development of the project. The primary objective of the HIE is to enable healthcare providers across the state to access and share patient information quickly and securely.

Healthcare IT News reports that the establishment of the HIO is a vital step in ensuring the continued development of the HIE, and that pharmacy informatics technology be made available to healthcare providers to offer improved standards of care to patients in New Hampshire.

Patrick Miller of the NH Institute for Health Policy and Practice at UNH said that “We are now clearly on the path to a healthcare system that delivers safer, higher quality, more coordinated, and more efficient care with the assistance of technology,” as quoted by the news source.