Health Information Organization

What Does Health Information Organization Mean?

Health information organizations (HIO) are U.S. government-led non-profit health organizations that provide information about the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 as it pertains to electronic health records (EHRs) development for incentive payments. These organizations focus on the importance of and instruction for interoperability and the exchange of EHRs among medical facilities as per the ARRA. HIOs can function at the federal, state and local level.


Techopedia Explains Health Information Organization

Health information organizations can, to a certain degree, serve as a replacement for private EHR vendors because they are essentially a free source of information for medical facilities working toward electronic record-keeping. The main purpose of an HIO, however, is to assist in the interoperability of EHRs as deemed necessary for meaningful use information exchanges. HIOs are able to guide eligible providers in their developmental steps in EHR production and educate them on what ARRA and other organizations and laws dictate.

Should an HIO assist a medical organization or private practice in this way, the organization must enter into an agreement as a business associate, much like they would if they were a private vendor. Automated record models within HIOs include EHR birth records, hearing screenings, newborn screenings and immunization and communicable disease reporting, all of which are considered public health records in that public health organizations require the reporting of some related statistical information. IT outsourcing professionals and vendors commonly use these models to design EHRs and databases for their health care customers.


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.