Glossary of Terms and Acronyms Related to e-Health

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DHHS (Department of Health and Human Services) See also: HHS

Decision Support: Computerized functions that assist users in making decisions in their job functions. In the practice of medicine, these functions include providing electronic access to medical literature, alerting the user to potential adverse drug interactions, and suggesting alternative treatment plans for a certain diagnosis. Reference: See also: DSS (Decision Support System) and CDS (Clinical Decision Support)

Demographics: Information about name, address, age, gender, and role used to link patient records from multiple sources in the absence of a unique patient identifier. Reference:

DICOM (Digital Imaging Communications in Medicine): A standard which defines protocols for the exchange of medical images and associated information (such as patient identification details and technique information) between instruments, information systems, and health care providers. It establishes a common language that enables medical images produced on one system to be processed and displayed on another. Reference: and

Digital Signature: A string of binary digits which is computed using an encryption algorithm. Digital signatures enable signatory authentication, confirmation of data integrity, and non-repudiation of messages. Reference:

Direct Health Information Exchange: The electronic transmission of health related information through a direct connection between the electronic health record systems of health care providers without the use of a health data intermediary. Reference: Minn. Stat. §62J.498 sub.1(c)

Direct Message:
A message sent from a source to a destination that conforms to the Direct-prescribed message structure. Reference:

Direct Project:
 The direct project develops specifications for a secure, scalable, standards-based way to establish universal health addressing and transport for participants (including providers, laboratories, hospitals, pharmacies and patients) to send encrypted health information directly to known, trusted recipients over the internet. Reference:  

DISA (Data Interchange Standards Association)

Disease Management: Disease management is a coordinated and proactive approach to managing care and support for patients with chronic illnesses such as diabetes, congestive heart failure, asthma, HIV/AIDS, and cancer. See also: E-disease Management

Domain(s): The five areas identified by the federal Department of Health and
Human Services as critical areas to be addressed and monitored to ensure continuous improvement and expansion of health information exchange capabilities. The five domains include the following:

  • Governance – This domain addresses the functions of convening health care stakeholders to create trust and consensus on an approach for statewide HIE and to provide oversight and accountability of HIE to protect the public interest. One of the primary purposes of a governance entity is to develop and maintain a multi-stakeholder process to ensure HIE among providers is in compliance with applicable policies and laws.
  • Finance - This domain encompasses the identification and management of financial resources necessary to fund health information exchange. This domain includes public and private financing for building HIE capacity and sustainability. This also includes but is not limited to pricing strategies, market research, public and private financing strategies, financial reporting, business planning, audits, and controls.
  • Technical Infrastructure – This domain includes the architecture, hardware, software, applications, network configurations and other technological aspects that physically enable the technical services for HIE in a secure and appropriate manner.
  • Business and Technical Operations – The activities in this domain include but are not limited to procurement, identifying requirements, process design, functionality development, project management, help desk, systems maintenance, change control, program evaluation, and reporting. Some of these activities and processes are the responsibility of the entity or entities that are implementing the technical services needed for health information exchange; there may be different models for distributing operational responsibilities.
  • Legal/Policy – The mechanisms and structures in this domain address legal and policy barriers and enablers related to the electronic use and exchange of health information. These mechanisms and structures include but are not limited to: policy frameworks, privacy and security requirements for system development and use, data sharing agreements, laws, regulations, and multi-state policy harmonization activities. The primary purpose of the legal/policy domain is to create a common set of rules to enable inter-organizational an eventually interstate health information exchange while protecting consumer interests.

Reference: American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, Title XIII-Health Information Technology, Subtitle B-Incentives for the Use of Health Information Technology, Section 3010, State Grants to Promote Health Information Technology: State Health Information Exchange Cooperative Agreement Program Funding Opportunity Announcement:

DOQ-IT (Doctors' Office Quality Information Technology):
DOQ-IT promotes the adoption electronic health records systems and information technology (IT) in small-to-medium sized physician offices with a vision of enhancing access to patient information, decision support, and reference data, as well as improving patient-clinician communications. Reference: also: Stratis Health

DSS (Decision-Support System): DSS refers to Computer tools or applications to assist physicians in clinical decisions by providing evidence-based knowledge in the context of patient-specific data. Examples include drug interaction alerts at the time medication is prescribed and reminders for specific guideline-based interventions during the care of patients with chronic disease. Information should be presented in a patient-centric view of individual care and also in a population or aggregate view to support population management and quality improvement. Reference:
See also: Decision Support

Updated Monday, 14-Feb-2011 11:13:40 CST