HHS seeks trial health IT network

The Health and Human Services Department will seek proposals in March or April for a contract to develop a trial implementation of core elements of a nationwide health information network.

HHS plans to award the contract in June or July, said John Loonsk, director of the Office of Interoperability and Standards in the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT.

The contract would incorporate many of the health IT accomplishments to date, which include the first batch of interoperability standards and system certification criteria. It also will include elements of prototypes of network architectures for early versions of electronic health records, personal health records and bioterror tracking systems. HHS this year also will incorporate activities of state and local regional health information exchanges.

'It is the intent of the next-step RFP to bring those things together to form a collaborative and to support particularly the inter-network needs of advancing the national agenda and the nationwide health information network,' Loonsk said at the HHS-sponsored Third Nationwide Health Information Network Forum in Washington, where four vendor and health care consortia demonstrated their health network prototypes.

Additionally, Gartner Inc. will report to HHS in mid-March on its examination of the work of the four groups that designed the network prototypes and focus on the common interfaces they developed.

About the Author

Mary Mosquera is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

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