Health Information Exchange Resources from the National Rural Health Resource CenterHealth information exchanges (HIE) allow the electronic sharing of health-related information among organizations.  Exchanging information electronically is the basis for many efforts to improve health care quality and safety.

The National Rural Health Resource Center, an exhibitor at ACU’s Health IT and the Underserved Conference, has a set of practical health information exchange (HIE) resources.  See HIE Toolkit.

Here’s a list of individual tools and corresponding links:

Forming or Joining a Health Information Exchange – First Considerations

This document covers the first steps in forming or joining an HIE. The document also includes a readiness self-assessment tool designed around governance, sustainability, technology, legal and policy, provider adoption, evaluation and consumer engagement domains.

Health Information Exchange Return on Investment (ROI) Calculator

This spreadsheet calculates potential savings and costs of implementing an electronic health record (EHR) and a health information exchange (HIE).  Sources are listed along with each calculation.

Health Information Exchange DIRECT Guide

This guide to DIRECT connectivity standards is designed to assist health care providers in understanding and implementing health information exchange using DIRECT protocols.  The guide includes descriptions of technologies used, a glossary of terms and recommendations on implementing DIRECT.

Health Information Exchange Policy Matrix

These “policy models” are adapted from The Connecting for Health Common Framework.  Specifically, the policy suggestions are from section P2: Model Privacy Policies and Procedures for Health Information Exchange.  This framework provides several useful tools for health information exchange (HIE); P2 contains much of the necessary policy and procedure language needed for an HIE.

Privacy and Security Overview and Resource List

The privacy and security requirements for organizations participating in an HIE are covered in this guide.  A list of HIPAA-related resources is also included for staying current on regulatory changes.

All of these resources can be found at

If you have any questions or are seeking clarification on any of the material, its content or its distribution, please contact the Rural HIT Network Development (RHITND) technical assistance team at 218-727-9390 ext. 233 or

The HIE Toolkit was developed through the Rural Health Information Technology Network Development (RHITND) Program, which is funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (HRSA, DHHS) through a contract to the National Rural Health Resource Center.