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Rural Health Information Hub

Health Information Exchange and RHIOs

When individuals receive care from multiple providers, there is an intrinsic need for providers to share information. Many networks do not have a system in place to share electronic medical records or general client information, so alternatives may be necessary. One option is arranging a Health Information Exchange (HIE), which is an interface for care and support providers to share critical, confidential medical information. A Regional Health Information Organization (RHIO) is the most common medium for supporting a Health Information Exchange.

RHIOs gather a variety of stakeholders to reach consensus on the specific information that is allowed to be shared among participating entities. All participating entities are required to sign data use agreements prior to any information being shared. This may involve presenting the agreed upon parameters to the compliance officer to gain organization-level approval. Participating entities are required to have adequate capacity to efficiently store and manage electronic data. As a practical consequence, RHIOs often provide health information technology (HIT) assistance to providers at the institutional level.

For more information on electronic medical record (EMR) sharing, visit the Health Information Technology Model Implementation Considerations on RHIhub's Care Coordination Toolkit

Resources to Learn More

Community Health IT Consortium
Example of a statewide consortium located in Florida that spearheads the sharing of health information efficiently and securely anywhere in the world through an internet connection.

A comprehensive support organization that specializes in providing technological resources and supports for hospitals, physician practices, and behavioral health serving rural communities.