If you thought NHIN sounded fa­mil­iar …

Modern Healthcare - - Outliers Aside & Insides -

The fed­eral govern­ment will be los­ing what­ever brand eq­uity it has de­vel­oped over the past six years in what was to be called the Na­tional Health In­for­ma­tion Net­work. Seems the feds have been in­ter­lop­ers on that name.

In 2004, David Brailer, the first head of the Of­fice of the Na­tional Co­or­di­na­tor for Health In­for­ma­tion Technology, started plan­ning for what he and ev­ery­one else in health­care ever since have been call­ing the NHIN. Now we learn it’s time to say good­bye to the NHIN, at least as the name for a fed­er­ally pro­moted frame­work for health in­for­ma­tion in­ter­op­er­abil­ity.

One of the ear­li­est ex­pres­sions of an al­ter­na­tive name for the NHIN sur­faced Oct. 20 in a Pow­erPoint pre­sen­ta­tion by John Lump­kin, the chair­man of the gov­er­nance work group of the fed­er­ally char­tered Health IT Pol­icy Com­mit­tee. Lump­kin’s coinage was the NW-HIN, which stands for Na­tion­wide Health In­for­ma­tion Net­work.

What gives? One likely rea­son for the im­pend­ing switch is that Na­tional Health In­for­ma­tion Net­work and NHIN both are ser­vice marks, the lat­ter be­ing ini­tially reg­is­tered in 1998, ac­cord­ing to the U.S. Patent and Trade­mark Of­fice. Both ser­vice marks are owned by a Texas firm that pro­vides soft­ware and ser­vices to the pre­scrip­tion drug in­dus­try.

In an e-mail state­ment, Peter Gar­rett, di­rec­tor of com­mu­ni­ca­tions for the ONC, made no men­tion of the patent is­sue. Gar­rett did not re­turn sev­eral calls ask­ing for com­ment about the ser­vice mark con­flict. Rather, Gar­rett’s e-mail said ONC was “de­vel­op­ing a new brand iden­tity” for the na­tion­wide net­work.

Brailer ap­par­ently didn’t know NHIN was al­ready taken.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.