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The National Health Information Infrastructure (NHII)

NHII Home Coordinating Activities Public Health Related Activities Standards Organizations Health Care Organizations State and Local Activities MEETINGS SITE INDEX

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Complete NHII Report

HHS and the NHII

NCVHS NHII Working Group

U.S.Department of Health and Human Services: Building the The National Health Information Infrastructure



  • September 22, 2004  
    Dr. Yasnoff, HHS Senior Advisor for health informatics policy, talks about "Research Needs for the National Health Information Infrastructure" [given at the University of Illinois at Chicago, HIM Distinguished Lecture Series; audio & video, 94 minutes]
  • September 7-11, 2004  
    The American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) hosted the premier health informatics conference in San Francisco: Medinfo 2004.Since 1974 the international informatics community has assembled the industry's leaders once every three years to put on Medinfo, the World Congress on Medical Informatics. David J. Brailer, M.D., Ph.D., the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology at the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), was a Keynote speaker before 3,000 attendees. Additionally, William A. Yasnoff, M.D., Ph.D., FACMIchaired and participated in a Panel called a multi-national perspective on the development of national health information infrastructure. Dr. Yasnoff, a noted expert in medical informatics, is the Senior Advisor at DHHS advising on health informatics policy. The Panel participants included Dr. Yasnoff (U.S.); Myrna Francis, Ph.D.  (Canada); Branko Cesnik, M.B.B.S., M.D., FACHI, (Australia); Janet Marchibroda, Chief Executive Officer, eHealth Initiative and Executive Director of its Foundation (U.S.); Richard Granger, Director General, National Health Services (U.K.); and Don E. Detmer, M.D., M.A. (an international expert on health information infrastructure in both the U.S. and U.K.).
    The representatives from each country provided descriptions of their health information infrastructure (HII) activities, progress, and plans. The panel focused on the development of a universal HII that provides immediate anywhere, anytime access to complete healthcare information for patient care. With the growing body of evidence demonstrating the inability of paper-based records to assure safety, quality, and efficiency of care, an increased urgency for the development of such infrastructures has resulted.However, successful large-scale HII implementation is a complex and challenging task involving political, organizational, and behavioral obstacles in addition to serious technical issues.Each nation is taking a somewhat different approach to these problems. Since no country at the present time has fully completed the development of its HII, while many have committed substantial financial resources to these activities, it is essential that every opportunity to exchange information and share lessons learned should be utilized including the development and adoption of national and international standards to support these efforts.
  • July 20-23, 2004 
    The Secretarial Summit on Health Information Technology launching the National Health Information Infrastructure 2004: Cornerstones for Electronic Healthcare was well attended by over 1,500 people representing the private and public healthcare industry. In challenging both sectors of the healthcare industry, Secretary Tommy G. Thompson stated, "Health information technology can improve quality of care and reduce medical errors, even as it lowers administrative costs. It has the potential to produce savings of 10 percent of our total annual spending on health care, even as it improves care for patients and provides new support for health care professionals." A report, titled "The Decade of Health Information Technology: Delivering Consumer-centric and Information-rich Health Care", ordered by President George W. Bush in April, was presented on July 21st by David Brailer, the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, whom the president appointed to the new position in May. The report lays out the broad steps needed to achieve always-current, always-available electronic health records (EHR) for Americans. This responds to the call by President Bush to achieve EHRs for most Americans within a decade. The report identifies goals and action areas, as well as a broad sequence needed to achieve the goals, with joint private/public cooperation and leadership. For more about the news coverage on the conference, please link to the following sites:
     HHS Fact Sheet-HIT Report at-a-glance 7/21/04:
     NY Times 7/21/04: 7/21/04:  Center for Health Transformation 7/21/04:
     iHealthbeat 7/26/04: 8/2/04:
  • May 6, 2004 
    At the Health Information Technology Summit on May 6, HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson announced the appointment of David J. Brailer, MD, PhD as the first National Health Information Technology Coordinator. The new position, created by President Bush in April, will coordinate the nation's health information technology efforts. Dr. Brailer is one of the nation's foremost authorities on clinical data sharing, local health information exchanges, and the use of the peer-to-peer technologies in health care. He is recognized as a leader in the strategy and financing of quality and efficiency in health care, with a particular emphasis on health information technology and health systems management.
    The Willard Hotel, Washington, D.C. Secretary's Speech at the "Health Information Technology Summit"
  • April 26, 2004 
    The President announced that he is creating a new sub-Cabinet level post at HHS, to provide national leadership and coordination necessary to achieve his 10-year goal. The individual will report directly to the HHS Secretary."
    Presidents Health IT Plan  White House: A New Generation of American Innovation (April 2004)
  • March 25, 2004 
    CMS Issues Interim Final Rule for Physician Self-Referrals
    includes exception for community-wide health information systems
  • January 27, 2004 
    Dr. Yasnoff, Senior Advisor for NHII, talks about NHII implementation.
    [given at the University of Utah Department of Medical Informatics; audio & video, 64 minutes]
  • January 24, 2004 
    President's Weekly Radio Broadcast and Health Information Technology
  • January 20, 2004 
    Strategies for Creating Successful Local Health Information Infrastructure Initiatives
    Full Report (PDF)
    Nancy M. Lorenzi, PhD.
    Vanderbilt University
    Department of Biomedical Informatics
  • November 21, 2003 
    $50,000,000 for Health Information Technology projects from AHRQ, letters of intent due February 6, 2004.
  • July 1, 2003 
    Secretary Thompson speaks at the NHII Conference
    Press Release  Full Speech
  • March 21, 2003
    Federal Government Announces First Federal eGov Health Information Exchange Standards