We all expected some RFPs to emerge from ONCHIT after release of the
NHIN Summary Report, but I assumed it would be late summer.
I just got a Heads Up notice from HIMSS with the following information
relevant to our discussions tomorrow:
At the HIMSS Summit, Dr. Brailer displayed renewed energy as
he announced the release of four RFPs as part of a contracting process to
address fundamental issues critical to achieving an interoperable NHIN and
driving EHR adoption. The RFPs are as follows:
- Standards harmonization: a
single award contract to develop, test, and evaluate a feasible prototype
standards harmonization process.
- Certification: a
single award contract to evaluate the feasibility and effectiveness of a
compliance certification and inspection process for EHRs.
- Prototypes for an
Internet-based NHIN Architecture: six
awards for prototypes of Internet-based interoperable NHIN architectures.
Prototypes must be able to function in real-world settings in a
- Privacy and Security Solutions
for Health Data Exchange: a single
contract with up to 40 subcontracts with designees of state or territorial
governments to review state and local interpretations of privacy and
security regulations to determine challenges and possible solutions for
achieving smoother transmission of healthcare data.
The announcement also claimed significant funding
arrangements had been achieved with US Congress.
Is it feasible for the Health Onto team to support members interested
in any of these RFPs?
How might our NHIN Thesis be presented as an early task in considering NHIN
projects? Do we have an opportunity to advance Ontology management and
engineering as a professional practice?
My quick read of the four lead me to a tentative conclusion
that the answers to these questions is a tentative YES. The last RFI involves a
single contractor and up to 40 states, and some ways seems to be among the
richest challenge for Ontologists, in a consulting role to the Primary Contractor.
Again, this is a very quick and tentative assessment.
Others of you may have much better suggestions for
discussing any one or all of these RFIs at tomorrows session.
Bob Smith, Ph.D.
Health Onto Project Coordinator
Professor Emeritus, California State
Tall Tree Labs