Glossary of Terms and Acronyms Related to e-Health

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HAN (Health Alert Network):
HAN is a communication system used by the CDC to exchange disease information with state and local health departments. Reference:

Handheld: A handheld is a portable computer that is small enough to hold in one's hand. The term is used to refer to a variety of devices ranging from personal data assistants, such as iPhones, Driods and tablet computers, to more powerful devices that offer many of the capabilities of desktop or laptop computers. Handhelds are used in clinical practice for such tasks as ordering prescriptions, accessing patients’ medical records and documenting patient encounters.

Harmonization: Harmonization means making identical or minimizing the differences between standards or related measures of similar scope.

Health Care Interoperability: Assures the clear and reliable communication of meaning by providing the correct context and exact meaning of the shared information as approved by designated communities of practice. This adds value by allowing the information to be accurately linked to related information, further developed and applied by computer systems and by care providers for the real-time delivery of optimal patient care. Reference:

Health Care Provider (Provider): A person or organization other than a nursing home that provides health care or medical care services within Minnesota for a fee and is eligible for reimbursement under the medical assistance program under chapter 256B. For purposes of this definition, "for a fee" includes traditional fee-for-service arrangements, capitation arrangements, and any other arrangement in which a provider receives compensation for providing health care services or has the authority to directly bill a group purchaser, health carrier, or individual for providing health care services. For purposes of this definition, "eligible for reimbursement under the medical assistance program" means that the provider's services would be reimbursed by the medical assistance program if the services were provided to medical assistance enrollees and the provider sought reimbursement, or that the services would be eligible for reimbursement under medical assistance except that those services are characterized as experimental, cosmetic, or voluntary. Reference: Minn. Stat. §62J.03, sub. 8

Health Data Intermediary (HDI):
Health data intermediary or HDI means an entity that provides the infrastructure to connect computer systems or other electronic devices used by health care providers, laboratories, pharmacies, health plans, third-party administrators, or pharmacy benefit managers to facilitate the secure transmission of health information, including pharmaceutical electronic data intermediaries as defined in Minn. Stat. §62J.495. This does not include health care providers engaged in direct health information exchange. [Minn. Stat. §62J.498 sub. 1(e)]. Reference:

Health Informatics:
The use of the principles and practices of computer science in addressing the problems of health care. An interdisciplinary field of scholarship that applies computer, information, management and cognitive sciences to promote the effective and efficient use and analysis of information to improve the health of individuals, the community and society. Reference: Adapted from the University of Minnesota, Health Informatics program: and See also: Informatics

Health Information Exchange (HIE):
  • Health information exchange or HIE means the electronic transmission of health related information between organizations according to nationally recognized standards [Minn. Stat. §62J.498 sub. 1(f)]. Reference:
  • The term ‘health information exchange (HIE) actually encompasses two related concepts: “Verb: the electronic sharing of health-related information among organizations “Noun: An organization that provides services to enable the electronic sharing of health-related information.” Reference:
  • The mobilization of healthcare information electronically across organizations within a region or community. HIE provides the capability to electronically move clinical information between disparate healthcare information systems while maintaining the meaning of the information being exchanged. The goal of HIE is to facilitate access to and retrieval of clinical data to provide safer, more timely, efficient, effective, equitable, patient-centered care. Reference: eHealth Initiative. "Second Annual Survey of State, Regional and Community-based Health Information Exchange Initiatives and Organizations." Washington: eHealth Initiative, 2005.

Health Information Exchange Service Provider (HIE-SP): A health data intermediary or health information organization that has been issued a certificate of authority by the Commissioner under Minn. Stat. §62J.498. Reference: Minn. Stat. §62J.498 sub.1(g)

Health Information Management and Exchange Specialist
: Individuals in these roles support the collection, management, retrieval, exchange, and/or analysis of information in electronic form. Reference:

Health Information Organization (HIO): Health information organization or HIO means an organization that oversees, governs, and facilitates the exchange of health-related information among organizations according to nationally recognized standards. [Minn. Stat. §62J.498 sub. 1(h)]. Reference:

Health Information Privacy and Security Specialist: Individuals in this role would be qualified to serve as institutional/organizational information privacy or security officers, ensuring the privacy and security of health. Reference:

Health Information Technology (HIT): HIT is the application of information processing involving both computer hardware and software that deals with the storage, retrieval, sharing, and use of health care information, data, and knowledge for communication and decision making. Reference:

Health IT Sub-specialist: Individuals in these roles combine health care or public health generalist knowledge, knowledge of IT, and disciplines that inform health IT policy or technology. Reference:

Health Level 7 (HL7):
HL7 is a standard interface for exchanging and translating data between computer systems. HL7 is also a not-for-profit organization accredited by the American National Standards Institutes (ANSI) that develops standards for data transfer. Reference:

HL7 and its members provide a framework (and related standards) for the exchange, integration, sharing, and retrieval of electronic health information. These standards define how information is packaged and communicated from one party to another, setting the language, structure and data types required for seamless integration between systems. HL7 standards support clinical practice and the management, delivery, and evaluation of health services, and are recognized as the most commonly used in the world. Reference:

HHS (Department of Health and Human Services): HHS is the principal U.S. agency responsible for protecting the health of citizens. HHS is responsible for more than 300 services, including overseeing medical and social science research, preventing outbreaks of infectious disease, assuring food and drug safety, and providing financial assistance for low-income families. HHS oversees CMS. Reference: See also: DHHS

HIMSS (Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society: HIMSS is the healthcare industry's membership organization exclusively focused on providing leadership for the optimal use of healthcare information technology and management systems for the betterment of human health. References: or

HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996): HIPAA is a federal law intended to improve the portability of health insurance and simplify health care administration. HIPAA sets standards for electronic transmission of claims-related information and for ensuring the security and privacy of all individually identifiable health information. References: The CMS website for HIPAA is The Office for Civil Rights (the Enforcer of HIPAA Privacy) website under HIPAA is The HIPAA Regulations are available at:

Health Information Service Provider: A HISP is an actor that serves the backbone exchange needs of Source and Destination actors and should be thought of in the context of message delivery/receipt and not in the context of governance responsibilities. Reference:

HISPC (Health Information Security and Privacy Collaboration):
Established in June 2006 by RTI International through a contract with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Health Information Security and Privacy Collaboration (HISPC) originally comprised 34 states and territories. As phase 3 of the HISPC begins in April 2008, HISPC now comprises 42 states and territories, and aims to address the privacy and security challenges presented by electronic health information exchange through multistate collaboration. Each HISPC participant continues to have the support of its state or territorial governor and maintains a steering committee and contact with a range of local stakeholders to ensure that developed solutions accurately reflect local preferences. Reference:

HITECH Act: HITECH Act stands for the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act in division A, title XIII and division B, title IV of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, including federal regulations adopted under that act. [Minn. Stat. §62J.495 sub. 1a(d)].

HITECH Minnesota Programs: Minnesota programs funded to support the adoption and use of Electronic Health Records (EHRs) and exchange of information, and to become eligible to receive incentive payments.

HITPC (Health Information Technology Policy Committee): Makes recommendations to the National Coordinator for Health IT on a policy framework for the development and adoption of a nationwide health informa­tion infrastructure, including standards for the exchange of patient medical information. Details on the meetings, the workgroups and related information can be accessed from

HITSC (Healthcare Information Technology Standards Committee): Makes recommendations to the National Coordinator for Health ITon stan­dards, implementation specifications, and certification criteria for the elec­tronic exchange and use of health information. Details on the meetings, the workgroups and related information can be accessed from

Home Monitoring:
Home monitoring is the use of physiologic monitors to assess patient status in the home. In some cases, results can be transmitted electronically to a case manager or physician.

Home Telehealth: Home telehealth is a service that uses information and telecommunications technologies to give the clinician the ability to monitor and measure health data and obtain information from patients located at home for diagnostics, monitoring, and clinical care. See also: Telehealth

HRSA (Health Resources and Services Administration) Reference:
The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is the primary Federal agency for improving access to health care services for people who are uninsured, isolated or medically vulnerable. Reference:

Updated Monday, 31-Mar-2014 08:04:02 CDT