Glossary of Terms and Acronyms Related to e-Health

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SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration):
SAMHSA was established in 1992 and directed by Congress to target effectively substance abuse and mental health services to the people most in need and to translate research in these areas more effectively and more rapidly into the general health care system. Reference:

Scalability is the ability to add users and increase the capabilities of an application without having to making significant changes to the application software or the system on which it runs.

SCHSAC (Statewide Community Health Services Advisory Committee):
SCHSAC is a Minnesota state-local public health partnership that advises, consults with and makes recommendations to the commissioner of health on matters relating to the development, maintenance, and evaluation of community health services in Minnesota. It plays an important role in facilitating the state-local community health services partnership. Reference:

SDO (Standards Development Organization):
Standards Development Organization groups work cooperatively to develop voluntary national consensus standards in healthcare. Most SDOs produce standards (sometimes called specifications or protocols) for a particular healthcare domain such as pharmacy, medical devices, imaging or insurance (claims processing) transactions. SDOs are generally not-for-profit volunteer organizations whose members develop the standards. See also: AHIC, ANSI, & NCPDP, HL7, SNOMED or LOINC

Secure Messaging:
Secure messaging is an approach to protect sensitive data using industry standards. It includes security features that go beyond typical email to (1) protect the confidentiality and integrity of sensitive data transmitted between systems or organizations and (2) provides proof of the origin of the data. Secure messages are encrypted bi-directionally and are stored on network or internet servers that are protected by login. Secure messaging functionality may be integrated with the EHR or maintained in a system separate and distinct from the EHR. Reference: adapted from National Institute of Standards and Technology,

In information systems, the degree to which data, databases, or other assets are protected from exposure to accidental or malicious disclosure, interruption, unauthorized access, modification, removal or destruction. Reference:

Smart Card: A smart card is an electronic device about the size of a credit card that contains electronic memory and, increasingly, an embedded microchip. The cards are used to store data. In a health care context, this is often personal health information. The data can be accessed using a smart card reader: a device into which the card is inserted. Smart cards are not the same as magnetic stripe cards, such as most credit cards; smart cards typically can store more information.

SNOMED CT (Systematized Nomenclature of Medicine, Clinical Terms):
SNOMED CT is a dynamic, scientifically validated clinical health care terminology and infrastructure that makes health care knowledge more usable and accessible. The SNOMED CT Core terminology provides a common language that enables a consistent way of capturing, sharing and aggregating health data across specialties and sites of care. Among the applications for SNOMED CT are electronic medical records, ICU monitoring, clinical decision support, medical research studies, clinical trials, computerized physician order entry, disease surveillance, image indexing and consumer health information services. Reference:

Stages of Health Information Exchange Development:

Stage 1: Recognition of the need for HIE among multiple stakeholders in your state, region, or community
Stage 2: Getting organized by defining shared vision, goals, & objectives, identifying funding sources, and setting up legal & governance structures
Stage 3: Transferring vision, goals, & objectives to tactics and business plan, defining needs and requirements and securing funding
Stage 4: Well under-way with implementation – technical, financial, and legal
Stage 5: Fully operational health information organization; transmitting data that is being used by healthcare stakeholders
Stage 6: Fully operational health information organization; transmitting data that is being used by healthcare stakeholders and have a sustainable business model
Stage 7: Demonstration of expansion of organization to encompass a broader coalition of stakeholders than present in the initial operational model.

Standards: Documented agreements containing technical specifications or other precise criteria to be used consistently as rules, guidelines, or definitions of characteristics to ensure that materials, products, processes, and services are fit for their purpose. A standards specifies a well defined approach that supports a business process and:

  • Has been agreed upon by a group of experts
  • Has been publicly vetted
  • Provides rules, guidelines, or characteristics
  • Helps to ensure that materials, products, processes and services are fit for their intended purpose
  • Available in an accessible format
  • Subject to ongoing review and revision process
    Reference: *This differs from the healthcare industry's traditional definition of "standard of care."

    Stage 1 Meaningful Use: Initial Meaningful Use criteria in the phased approach to meaningful use of certified electronic health record technology and which outlines the requirements to obtain incentive payments for eligible professionals and hospitals as established by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) and the Minnesota Department of Human Services (“DHS”) pursuant to sections 4101, 4102 and 4201 of the HITECH Act. References: or or

    State-Certified Health Data Intermediary: A health data intermediary that:

    • provides a subset of the Meaningful Use transaction capabilities necessary for hospitals and providers to achieve Meaningful Use of electronic health records;
    • is not exclusively engaged in the exchange of Meaningful Use transactions covered by Minn. Stat. §62J.536; and
    • has been issued a certificate of authority to operate in Minnesota.
    Reference: Minn. Stat.§62J.498 sub. 1(o)

    State-Certified Health Information Organization
    : A nonprofit health information organization that provides transaction capabilities necessary to fully support clinical transactions required for Meaningful Use of electronic health records that has been issued a certificate of authority to operate in Minnesota. Reference: Minn. Stat. §62J.498 sub.1(p)

    Stratis Health:
    Stratis Health is a non-profit independent quality improvement organization that collaborates with providers and consumers to improve health care. The organization, founded in 1971, has worked at improving the state's health care quality for more than 30 years. Under a federal contract, Stratis Health serves as Minnesota's Medicare Quality Improvement Organization (QIO). The organization is also involved in other statewide projects funded through state government contracts, foundation and corporate grants, and health system projects. Reference: See also: QIO, DOQ-IT

    Surveillance: The ongoing systematic collection, analysis, and interpretation of data (e.g., regarding agent/hazard, risk factor, exposure, health event) essential to the planning, implementation, and evaluation of public health practice, closely integrated with the timely dissemination of these data to those responsible for prevention and control. Reference:
  • Updated Monday, 31-Mar-2014 11:32:59 CDT