New Hampshire State Health Information Organization Officially Launched

The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) today announced the launching  of  the  State’s Health Information Organization.  Governor John Lynch recently signed the House Bill 489, a collaborative bill with over 80 stakeholders, officially  establishing  New  Hampshire’s  Health Information  Organization  (NH-HIO) that allows for the development of a safer, more secure, and more efficient electronic pathway for patient health records.

Concord,  NH  –  The  New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)  is  announcing  the  launching  of  the  State’s Health Information Organization.  In  a  recent Statehouse ceremony Governor John Lynch signed House   Bill  489  which  officially established  New  Hampshire’s  Health Information  Organization  (NH-HIO).   HB 489 is the culmination of several years  of collaborative planning  among more than 80 stakeholders working closely  with  the  New  Hampshire  General  Court.  DHHS’ Office of Health Information Technology (OHIT) led the planning effort with support from the Massachusetts eHealth Collaborative (MAeHC) and the NH Institute for Health Policy and Practice at the University of New Hampshire (UNH).

“Technology should do for the health care industry what it is has done for many other industries, and that’s create efficiency and lower costs. By signing House Bill 489 into law that is exactly what we are doing here in New Hampshire,” Gov.  Lynch said. “This new law allows the creation of a health information organization, which will mean a faster, easier and more secure transfer of health records, saving time and money, while still protecting patient privacy.”

“This  new  law  institutes  an  organization  to develop a safe and secure pathway  for  the  transmittal  of information for clinical decision making purposes,”  said  New  Hampshire  State  Representative Alida Millham. “The planning process for this legislation and been long and careful.  It represents a process that included all the stakeholders and worked to represent all the needs for such a structure. This is an important step in our collective desire for an efficient, effective, safe, accountable, and high quality health care system.”

NH-HIO  has  been  carefully  designed  to meet the goals of protecting the privacy  and  security  of  personal  health information while creating the infrastructure  that  will  help  providers  coordinate  patient care while reducing  administrative  costs.  For example, with the NH-HIO in place, a patient’s primary care provider will be able to securely send an electronic summary of that patient’s medical record to a hospital when the patient is admitted or to a specialist when the patient is referred for a consult. In turn,  the  hospital  or specialist  will  be able to send a record of the hospital  or  specialist visit, along with laboratory and radiology results associated  with the visit, back to the primary care physician. Regardless of  where  a patient receives care, each care provider will have easier and more timely  access  to  needed patient information than they do today and patients  can  be  assured  that  only  authorized providers have access to personal health information.

“Coordinating  the  multitude  of  governmental  and private sector health technology  initiatives  is  a  massive  and complex undertaking, even in a small state like ours,” said David Towne, the New Hampshire State Health IT Coordinator.  “I envision that the NH-HIO will be a unifying, collaborative organization  that  will  identify  and  implement  cross-cutting “win-win” health  IT  initiatives  that  benefit  health  care providers, health care purchasers, and most of all, patients.”

“The establishment of NH-HIO is a testament to the vision, dedication, and hard  work  of  health  care  providers,  state  government leaders, health insurers,  and  consumers  across  the  Granite  State.  A secure statewide network will be a great boost to the individual technological advances that hospitals and physicians have already been making here,” said Micky Tripathi, CEO of the Massachusetts eHealth Collaborative.

“The launch of NH-HIO marks an important step forward for New Hampshire on a  path  that started with Governor John Lynch’s and the NH Citizens Health Initiative’s   efforts  surrounding  ePrescribing  and  health  information exchange  between  2007  and  2009,”  said Patrick Miller, NH Institute for Health  Policy  and  Practice,  University  of  New Hampshire.  “We are now clearly  on  the  path  to a health care system that delivers safer, higher quality,  more  coordinated, and more efficient care with the assistance of technology.”

NH-HIO plans to hold its first Board of Directors meeting later this month and will begin operating as a private not-for-profit corporation shortly thereafter.

For more information about DHHS’ OHIT visit; for information about the Massachusetts eHealth   Collaborative visit; and for information about the NH Institute for Health Policy and Practice visit: