My dirty mind

When I first saw a news brief today about a statewide database for medical records in New York, I had to laugh. There was something about the name: Health Information Exchange of New York.

I thought there might be a reason that the state name came at the end, like perhaps to form an acronym. Then I realized that the initials, HIENY, might be pronounced as “hiney.” Talk about setting yourself up to be the butt of jokes (pun strongly intended)!

To my disappointment, I clicked on the link to the actual news story the brief came from and learned that the exchange is known as HIXNY.

Anyhoo …

Yet another health IT bill destined for inaction was introduced in Congress today, but at least this one seems to have some thought behind it. The proposed Independent Health Record Trust Act, from Rep. Dennis Moore (D-Kan.) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), calls for a national network of “trusts” to manage patient-owned health data.

“This forward-looking plan would utilize market forces to drive the creation of a fully interoperable, nationwide HIT network, while also taking additional steps to protect the privacy of sensitive medical information,” Moore said in a press release.

For those of you keeping score at home, Moore and Ryan had sponsored the Independent Health Record Bank Act in the last Congress, a bill that of course went nowhere. Perhaps there is greater political will this year. Perhaps not.

And speaking of National Health Information Network initiatives, there seems to be some opposition among RHIO leaders to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology‘s NHIN contracting procedures, as this letter illustrates.