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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 software requirements for implementing health information exchange?

In general, a RHIO will need three applications: a record locator service (RLS), a master patient index (MPI) which contains the matching algorithm to harmonize queries for clinical data with patient records, and an integration engine, for communication between the different participating entities in a RHIO.

The record locator service (RLS) receives incoming queries from authorized users, formats the contents of the message, and makes a query to the MPI with the matching algorithm. The algorithm determines which records in the database are likely matches using demographic details and the RLS then returns the location of the patient records to the user. No standard algorithms exist and the determination of what data can be used for matching is subject to local regulation and community consensus. Finally, an integration engine allows participating entities to exchange information.    


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