Work Group on National Health Information Infrastructure


The “NHII” is a set of technologies, standards, and applications that support communication and information to improve clinical care, monitor public health, and educate consumers and patients. It is not a unitary database. The broad goal of the NHII is health knowledge management and delivery, so that the full array of information needed to improve the public’s health and health care is optimally available for professionals, policy makers, researchers, patients, care givers, and consumers . The NHII as a system should seek to improve and enhance privacy and confidentiality of personal health information.

The Work Group will monitor developments in areas that represent components of a national health information infrastructure (NHII). The areas initially identified in the Work Group’s October 1998 Concept Paper include privacy, confidentiality and security; unique health identifiers; standards; population-based data; computer-based health records; knowledge management and decision support; and telemedicine. The Work Group will monitor relevant activities of other NCVHS subcommittees and work groups; activities within HHS and other Federal agencies; activities of professional and standards organizations; global activities; and other pertinent activities.

The Work Group will make recommendations to the full Committee on opportunities and barriers to integrating these activities more effectively to help achieve the goals of the NHII.

Specifically, the Work Group will:

  • Review the Concept Paper at least annually and produce iterative revisions as needed. A first task will be to refine definitions and develop a more specific glossary.
  • Develop a matrix of existing activities related to the NHII, with particular attention to the elements of the three computer-based health records outlined in the Concept Paper (i.e. consumer health records, patient health records, and population health records) as revised through task one, and other elements in the Concept Paper. The Work Group will work with the HHS Data Council and utilize the HHS Telehealth Inventory for those components within HHS.
  • Analyze the matrix to identify progress, areas that need (re)focussing, and areas where new work is needed.
  • Identify and analyze relevant models (e.g. Australia, Canada, the European Union, the G-7, and the United Kingdom).
  • Develop reports and recommendations for the full NCVHS committee.
  • Promote, conduct, or collaborate on appropriate educational and outreach activities designed to encourage progress toward an effective NHII.
  • Conduct other activities that may be suggested in the course of its work.

Approved Feb. 4, 1999