Health IT czar seeks help on interoperability

Dr. David Brailer

Rachael Golden

The Health and Human Services Department is looking to industry for help on electronic health records and health systems interoperability.

'With the exception of a few isolated regional projects, the United States does not currently have meaningful health information interoperability capabilities,' said Dr. David Brailer, the national health IT coordinator.

Beyond patient records, Brailer's request for information points to the importance of systems in assuring 'cost-effective and timely data collection for bio-surveillance, quality measurement and clinical research.'

HHS calls these components the National Health Information Network. The RFI is the starting point for defining the government's role in NHIN, what it would take to field it and a timeline for its creation. The RFI poses 24 multipart questions to get comments from the public, industry and academia.

To see the RFI, go to and enter 329 in the Brailer's office will hold an NHIN conference Dec. 6. Responses to the RFI are due Jan. 18.

About the Author

Mary Mosquera is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

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