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New Hampshire Expands Health Data Safeguards

The New Hampshire Health Information Organization (NHHIO), a nonprofit created by New Hampshire legislation, securely connecting health care communities to share patient health information needed for informed care decisions, announced that New Hampshire Senate Bill 229 title: an act relative to the use and disclosure of protected health information (PHI), is now in effect in the granite state. This bill expands the availability of the network to a larger group of care providers, and helps increase the protections for patient information as it is shared between health care providers. Now, care coordinators, clinical support staff, and other members of the care team can utilize the NHHIO to securely share health information with the provider community, helping to improve disease management and efficient care coordination. The legislation went into effect September 9, 2014.

“It is vitally important for patients across New Hampshire to access their medical information and to protect that private information from being stolen,” says New Hampshire State Senator Jeb Bradley, the main sponsor of the bill. “I was proud to sponsor Senate Bill 229 to update New Hampshire’s medical records law and give all New Hampshire patients the tools to protect their medical privacy.”

The New Hampshire Health Information Organization runs and operates the network, using national standards of interoperability and transmission security, which helps electronically transmit patient information efficiently and securely between provider organizations across the state. Over 60 participating organizations, representing over 75 different geographical provider locations throughout New Hampshire are already signed on and are utilizing the NHHIO, with more ready to participate in this advanced network. NHHIO facilitates the more effective use of EHRs by exchanging data electronically using fully certified software applications and federal standards for communication.

“New Hampshire is taking a unique approach to health information exchange. With the NHHIO, there is no central repository of information, rather, we add another layer of security when patient information is in motion so it is encrypted end-to-end, minimizing the risk of a breach,” says Jeff Loughlin, executive director of the NHHIO. “Our organization is about improving communication transmissions between providers. With Senate Bill 229 in effect, health care teams are now able to more effectively manage the flow of patient information in a timely and secure manner, utilizing state-of-the-art IT infrastructure to support ongoing efforts in the continuous improvement of health care in New Hampshire.”

Source: New Hampshire Health Information Organization