NHIN Enhancements in the Works

Lockheed Martin to Develop, Test New Exchange Capabilities
NHIN Enhancements in the Works
Lockheed Martin has won two contracts worth a total of $9 million to support further development of the National Health Information Network, a set of services, standards and policies that enable the secure exchange of health information over the Internet.

For the next two years, the Bethesda, Md.-based firm will create reference implementation software to support the development, testing and adoption of new NHIN capabilities. The company will provide a proof of concept for each capability so it can be incorporated into a production-level application, a company spokesman says.

"In other words, the goal of the reference implementation is to establish a solid set of interoperability specifications for the NHIN modules," she adds. "Privacy and security-related specifications will likely be part of the project."

Pilot Projects

Under its second contract, Lockheed Martin will develop real-world demonstrations and pilots for the new NHIN capabilities. "While it is yet to be determined, it's highly likely that some pilots will focus on security and privacy," the spokesman says.

The Department of Health and Human Services' Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology awarded the grants, which are funded under the HITECH Act. The Act also is providing funding to states to support development of statewide health information exchanges, which will use NHIN standards.

NHIN is designed to ultimately pave the way for linking exchanges at the local, regional, state and national levels. In that way, electronic health records could be more easily shared among clinicians.

Earlier Efforts

Lockheed-Martin earlier participated in the development of the CONNECT gateway, an open source Federal Health Architecture initiative that includes core NHIN interoperability standards that will be the foundation of all NHIN enhancements.

The firm was the prime vendor in the Social Security Administration's NHIN prototype project with Med Virginia, which is coordinating health information technology projects in the state. And it participated in a demonstration of how NHIN can support the secure exchange of standardized health assessments to help improve the quality of care for Medicare patients.

About the Author

Howard Anderson

Howard Anderson

News Editor, ISMG

Anderson is news editor of Information Security Media Group and was founding editor of HealthcareInfoSecurity and DataBreachToday. He has more than 40 years of journalism experience, with a focus on healthcare information technology issues. Before launching HealthcareInfoSecurity, he served as founding editor of Health Data Management magazine, where he worked for 17 years, and he served in leadership roles at several other healthcare magazines and newspapers.

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