Title: Development of Regional Health Information Organizations (RHIOs): knowledge networks and collaboration

Authors: Tip Ghosh, Jenna Marquard

Addresses: Healthcare Administration and Policy Department, School of Public Health, University of Nevada-Las Vegas, 4505 Maryland Pkwy, Las Vegas, NV 89154, USA. ' College of Engineering, University of Wisconsin–Madison, 1513 University Avenue, Madison, WI 53706, USA

Abstract: The development of Regional Health Information Organizations (RHIOs) has become an important priority for policymaking in the USA. These development efforts have focused primarily on data exchange. In this paper, we propose the use of a research approach, based on knowledge networks and collaboration, to develop an understanding of the processes associated with RHIO development. RHIOs need to be envisioned beyond the need to exchange electronic health information exchange and be seen as the catalyst for knowledge sharing of evidence-based medical practices. Sharing evidence-based medical and clinical practices allows for shared system improvement. Networks have been perceived as a foundation for forming inter-organisational collaborations. The term network implies a structure to relate social actors while collaboration is the process whereby social actors in the network take collective actions to achieve a common goal. RHIOs can serve as convener organisations that can act as a catalyst for bringing diverse stakeholders to work together toward a common purpose and a set of goals that benefit the community.

Keywords: regional health information organisations; RHIO; knowledge management; electronic healthcare; health information; e-health; secure information exchange; inter-organisation collaboration; social networks; knowledge networks; USA; United States; public policy.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPP.2007.012909

International Journal of Public Policy, 2007 Vol.2 No.3/4, pp.298 - 315

Published online: 23 Mar 2007 *

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