A fully functional NHIN requires both EHR systems for health care providers and institutions and a community-level infrastructure that links these systems to provide complete lifetime health records for all citizens. Thus, workforce estimates must include personnel for both EHR installation as well as the development of needed community infrastructure. Since EHR activities for health care institutions are quantitatively and qualitatively different from those in physician offices, these two areas also must be considered separately.
Therefore, the planned assessment of NHIN workforce requirements was focused on three distinct types of related activities: EHRs in physician offices; EHRs in health care institutions; and community infrastructure. The research plan consisted of four phases:
- Development of the detailed research approach and framework for the workforce estimation model with input from domain experts (two expert panels);
- Independent expert review and validation of the approach (two expert panels);
- Site visits and other activities to further validate the model and gather additional data (five site visits); and
- Synthesis, review, and validation of the resultant model with additional expert assistance.