Health Information Exchange (HIE) Specifications and Tools

Executive Summary

This article outlines deliverables for the specifications and tools needed when creating a Health Information Exchange for a new organization. This includes the development of business requirements, technology architecture, components, and standards, in addition to security and privacy considerations that must be addressed. 

Companion Article

A Guide to Planning a Health Information Exchange (HIE)

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Business Requirements

Example tools for business requirements:


HIE Technology Architecture: Governance and Principles

To create an HIE architecture the governance process will review design options and develop consensus-based strategies through an architecture review board. Formal engagement/membership in the HIE architecture review board is premised upon a commitment to guiding architecture principles. This improves the effectiveness, efficiency, and transparency of the architecture design, deliberation, and decision-making processes. There are three main principles listed below:

  1. Standards-based
  2. Adaptable/implementable
  3. Interchangeability/ swappable

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Security and Privacy Architecture and Requirments

When developing an HIE many privacy and security measures must be in place to prevent any issues when sharing sensitive information. Because the HIE provides the mechanism for sharing health-related information in a secure manner, protecting the confidentiality of the information among diverse users is important. OpenHIE has created a document for Privacy and Security Architecture that outlines policies and resources for consideration. Other considerations and gaps in security and privacy have been discussed in the White Paper by The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) and the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). The components discussed here, provide an effective way to protect personal health information. 

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