The operational network formerly known as the Nationwide Health Information Network (NwHIN or NHIN) Exchange is now known as the eHealth Exchange. The ONC and the Coordinating Committee have officially designated The Sequoia Project as the legal entity that will operationally support the eHealth Exchange. The Sequoia Project eHealth Exchange Support Staff operate under the direction of the eHealth Exchange Coordinating Committee.

What is the eHealth Exchange (formerly the Nationwide Health Information Network)?The eHealth Exchange (formerly the Nationwide Health Information Network) is a set of standards, services and policies that enable secure health information exchange over the Internet. The network will provide a foundation for the exchange of health information across diverse entities, within communities and across the country, helping to achieve the goals of the HITECH Act. This critical part of the national health IT agenda will enable health information to follow the consumer, be available for clinical decision making, and support appropriate use of healthcare information beyond direct patient care to improve population health.
What is the eHealth Exchange Specifications Factory?
The HITECH Act highlights the need for standards and interoperability specifications to support health information exchange. The role of the Spec Factory is to develop production-caliber interoperability specifications based upon existing industry standards, where possible, to support the business and clinical use cases that could be operated in production by the Exchange. In the event that existing industry standards don't exist or are inadequate, the Spec Factory creates new specifications, and then works with appropriate industry Standards Development Organizations (SDOs) to move the new efforts into industry standards when possible. One example of this is the IHE XCPD and BPPC specifications where created by the IHE after the eHealth Exchange (the NHIN at that time) created their specifications. Another example, is that OASIS convened a work group at the request of the Exchange to allow patients the ability to express their consent and other preferences, resulting in the OASIS XSPA standard.

The goals of the Spec Factory are as follows:

    • Maintenance of legacy nationwide health information network exchange specifications based on issues identified by implementers and other exchange stakeholders
    • Package exchange specifications into human readable format by building upon the visions for the nationwide health information network, while adhering to applicable governing body decisions and prioritizations to support use cases, business scenarios and implementations.
    • Generate Implementation Specification with an explicit description of the standards, services and policies.
    • Create guidelines for development of reference implementation

Who is the Spec Factory Team?The Spec Factory consists of stakeholders who come from across the healthcare IT industry. Currently, the Spec Factory is made of the Core Services and Security and Privacy workgroups. Each workgroup is responsible for providing subject matter expertise as well as maintenance for respective specifications. For more information, please on the workgroups, please visit the individual workgroup's site.
How do I Get Involved?The Spec Factory is open to all individuals and Organizations who wish to contribute in defining Interoperability Specifications that could be used to test the Nationwide Health Information Network The individual Spec Factory workgroups listed above have regular meetings throughout the year. You can participate as a Workgroup Leader, an Active Participant or an Observer.
Keep me informed
  • To be notified about significant events and announcements from the Spec Factory, follow the Spec Factory blog.
  • Join in community discussion in the nationwide health information network Exchange Discussion group.
  • If you desire to stay actively involved, subscribe to an RSS feed or use the "Notify Me" tab to stay on top of updates to the wiki pages that interest you.

How do I join?
  • To join the wiki simply create a Wikispaces account and request membership to the Standards and Interoperability Specifications wiki. You must choose a user name which allows you to be easily identified (e.g. CharlieBrown).
  • View the individual workgroup sites and decide which workgroup you wish to join

Please refer to this Quick Guide to join the Spec Factory Workgroup:

Please refrain from defacement, abuse, commercial promotion, or other content that violates our Wiki participation guidelines.

How do I Request a Change to a Specification?
All organizations and individuals are welcome to request a change to an existing specification by submitting a Change Request Form or request new/enhanced Nationwide Health Information Network capabilities by submitting a Capability Request Form. The requests will be reviewed by the Spec Factory and adopted where appropriate. Both forms can be found on the Document Library page and should be submitted to Eric Heflin (eheflin *at* sequoiaproject *dot* org) when completed.