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A regional health information organization (RHIO) is a nongovernmental, multi-stakeholder organization that enables or oversees the business and legal issues involved in the exchange and use of health information, in a secure manner, for the purpose of promoting the improvement of health quality, safety and efficiency.

Officials from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services see RHIOs as the building blocks for the national health information network (NHIN). When complete the NHIN will provide universal access to electronic health records. Experts maintain that RHIOs will help eliminate some administrative costs associated with paper-based patient records, provide quick access to automated test results and offer a consolidated view of a patient’s history. HIMSS Definitions and Acronyms

Regional Health Information Organizations -- RHIOs

NOTE: The 2007 Survey of Regional Health Information Organization Finance is open to respondents March 23 through April 20, 2007. RHIO personnel and organizers are invited to learn more and take the survey at http://hittransition.com/rhio2007/.

Regional health information networks and organizations (RHINs and RHIOs) represent connecting communities striving to adopt and implement standards-based solutions that eventually will link into the envisioned National Health Information Network (NHIN). As these collaboratives and networks of stakeholders mature, they often find the need for a formal independent organizational and governance structure with systems to ensure accountability and sustainability for the benefit of all stakeholders.

Models for these connected communities include:

  • Federation – multiple independent / strong enterprises in same region
  • Co-op – multiple enterprises agree to share resources and create central utility
  • Hybrid – region containing both Federation and Co-op organizations

From Christina's Considerations

Implications of RHIN/RHIOs on State and National Levels

RHIO Governance Models

Technical Models

Basic identity and access management capabilities


RHIO Financial Models

Funding Resources

RHIOs and Public Health

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