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H H S Department of Health and Human Services
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Health Information Technology and Quality

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What are the steps involved in the creation of a RHIO?

The formation of a health information exchange organization, such as a RHIO, involves multiple steps including:

  1. Understanding the present state of health information technology and health information exchange in the region/state
  2. Stakeholder participation/community leadership
  3. Making the business case, including the mission and vision
  4. Choosing a governance model
  5. Developing a financial model, including sources for initial funding and sustainability
  6. Identifying short-term and long-term priorities
  7. Defining the technical architecture
  8. Creating a policy and security framework
  9. Developing the marketing and community outreach strategy

These steps may not be sequential. Based on decisions made at a subsequent stage, certain steps may need to be revisited. Throughout the formation process, the leadership of the health information exchange should seek to actively engage stakeholders and make decisions based on their feedback.

Related Resources:

  • Rural Healthcare Information Technology Adoption Project (PDF - 1 MB) go to exit disclaimer - Developed by the Arizona Government Information Technology Agency (GITA) (2008).  This guide contains information on what to consider when establishing a RHIO in a rural community.
  • State-Level Health Information Exchange Initiative (PDF - 940 KB) go to exit disclaimer - Development Workbook.  Developed by Foundation of Research and Education (FORE) of the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) (2007).  This workbook was developed as a guide to key issues, options and strategies regarding HIE.
  • A Practical Approach to RHIO Formation (PDF - 529 KB) go to exit disclaimer - Developed by dbMotion (2006).  This white paper covers lessons learned from RHIO formation.
  • Templates for planning and assessing an HIE go to exit disclaimer - Developed by CalRHIO.  This Web-site contains links to excerpts from a book on health IT integration, entitled, “Enterprise Integration: The Essential Guide to Integration Solution Templates”.  Each template can be used to guide the implementation process.
Developed by the Health Resources and Services Administration as a resource for health centers and other safety net and ambulatory care providers who are seeking to implement health IT.
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