Health IT and Electronic Health Definitions

This glossary explains the meaning of key words and phrases that information technology (IT) and business professionals use when discussing health IT and related software products. You can find additional definitions by visiting WhatIs.com or using the search box below.

  • N

    National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program (NVLAP)

    The National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program (NVLAP) is a federal program run by the National Institute of Standards and Technology that provides third-party accreditation to laboratories in the U.S.

  • Nationwide Health Information Network (NHIN)

    The Nationwide Health Information Network (NHIN) is a set of standards, services and policies that enable secure health information exchange (HIE) over the Internet.

  • NHIN Direct

    NHIN Direct is a project being developed by the Nationwide Health Information Network that aims to enable secure health information exchange (HIE) over the Internet for primary care physicians, specialists and public health agencies.

  • O

    Office for Civil Rights (OCR)

    The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) is an organization within the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS),

  • ONC (Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology)

    The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, abbreviated ONC, is an entity within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

  • OpenEMR

    OpenEMR is free, open source software for the health care industry. OpenEMR integrates medical practice management, electronic medical record (EMR), patient scheduling and electronic billing functionality.

  • P

    PACS (picture archiving and communication system)

    PACS (picture archiving and communication system) is a medical imaging technology used primarily in healthcare organizations to securely store and digitally transmit electronic images and clinically-relevant reports.

  • patient engagement

    Patient engagement is an ideal healthcare situation in which people are well-informed about -- and motivated to be involved -- in their own medical care.

  • patient record locator

    A patient record locator is a computer service that allows doctors and nurses to obtain a patient’s electronic health records including electronic medical records, ambulatory medical record and prescription data.

  • patient-generated health data (PGHD)

    Patient-generated health data (PGHD) is data created, recorded or gathered by or from patients, family members or caregivers to help address a medical concern.

  • personal health record (PHR)

    A personal health record (PHR) is a collection of health-related information that is documented and maintained by the individual it pertains to.

  • pharmaceutical detailing

    Detailing is a marketing technique used by pharmaceutical companies wherein a pharmaceutical representative visits and attempts to persuade a doctor to prescribe a certain company’s product more often.

  • PHI breach (protected health information breach)

    A PHI breach is unauthorized access, use or disclosure of individually identifiable health information that is held or transmitted by a healthcare organization or its business associates.

  • point of care (POC) testing

    Point of care (POC) testing is medical testing that is performed outside of a laboratory setting. Common examples of POC test tools include blood glucose monitors, thermometers, home pregnancy tests and rapid strep tests.

  • population health management (PHM)

    Population health management (PHM) is a discipline within the healthcare industry that studies and facilitates care delivery across the general population or a group of individuals.

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