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From The CriticsReviewer: LouAnn Schraffenberger, MBA, RHIA, CCS, CCS-P(Advocate Health Care)
Description: The book, written by members of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Regional Health Information Organization (RHIO) Guidebook Task Force, is intended to share a wealth of information to support and guide those who are exploring the initiation of a RHIO or further development of the new RHIO in their geographic area.
Purpose: The authors are sharing their collective experiences in developing and sustaining regional health information organizations. The authors want to help readers to avoid repeating some of the expensive lessons learned in developing early RHIOs by sharing those mistakes, failures, and painful implementations. Ultimately, they want to help readers use this information to develop an RHIO that uses limited funds efficiently and avoid the policy, privacy, and technology mistakes others have made in the past.
Audience: The audience includes health information scientists and practitioners interested in developing a regional health information organization. RHIOs provide healthcare providers with shared information to reduce healthcare costs and improve patient care. The authors come from a variety of backgrounds, including health informatics, information management and technology, healthcare law, clinical medicine, and healthcare business and strategic planning. The book is published by the HIMSS organization, a national professional association dedicated to advancing healthcare information systems.
Features: The guide covers the role of stakeholders, collaboration, and governance models of an RHIO; practical approaches for RHIO financing; planning for RHIO sustainability; the concept of patient identification, privacy and security considerations, and models for data exchange; and case studies that illustrate potential uses of RHIOs.
Assessment: Today only a handful of sustainable RHIOs perform live data exchange. The authors have been actively involved in the development and maintenance of various RHIOs. Throughout the book, a clear message comes through: use the authors' experiences to avoid the pitfalls and failures they experienced in working with the early RHIOs in the U.S. This is a valuable collection of practical information for anyone contemplating or involved in the early development of a regional health organization.