NHIN Direct shows how the best news comes quietly

NHIN Direct has a Tiger Team ready to make recommendations on the important issues of privacy and security. It is getting good cooperation from state officials, especially those in designated Beacon Communities.

News is supposed to generate heat, or how do we know it's news?

Well, not always. Such is the case with NHIN Direct.

NHIN Direct, in case you don't know, is an attempt to create standards allowing the current Internet to be used as a safe, secure transport for health data. Rather than building new networks, the Health Internet would thus become an Internet application.

Since nearly all hospitals and clinics have Internet access, it would not be necessary to build separate RHIOs or HIEs which only a select few could access. Medical tests would move when you hit send. Existing infrastructure would become parts of a larger, compatible whole.

The efforts to build these standards are being managed by former RelayHealth executive Arien Malec (above, from his Facebook page), who is now in the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT headed by David Blumenthal.

He's not a public figure. He is just someone who gets the hard work done. We should spend more time celebrating such people.

So how is it going? Malec came up for air last week long enough to say it's going OK. Not just on the coding front, but on the coordination front, which may be just as important.

Malec has a Tiger Team working on the important issues of privacy and security. The team is now ready to make its recommendations, he wrote. He is getting good cooperation from state officials, especially those in designated Beacon Communities, who seem to grok the NHIN Direct message.

None of this is news in the conventional sense. There is no big controversy. There are just good people working together and working hard.

That's where good news comes from.

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