Term: Florida Health Information Network - FHIN


The Florida Health Information Network (FHIN) is a statewide collaboration designed to work with regional health information organizations (RHIO’s) and the Agency for Health Care Administration. The mission of The Florida Health Information Network is to design an integrated clinical health information exchange system that can be used to pull medical records from in the state of Florida. The main goal of the exchange system is to allow doctors and physicians in Florida to pull medical records accurately and provide a faster response time in obtaining the records. If this goal is accomplished it would provide patients with the highest quality medical care which will reduce the wait time for clinics and hospitals to receive their medical records. However, the success of the Florida Health Information Network depends on the long term sustainability of each local RHIO. The network will also depend on each RHIO’s ability to work together with each other by exchanging patients medical records across the state.

FHIN Grants:

The Florida Health Information Network is also responsible for developing a Grants Program. The grants target key RHIO’s who are interested in developing a health information exchange system. The grant allows funding for each eligible RHIO to help them incorporate the development of the information exchange system. Each RHIO represents many health care stakeholders such as providers, employers, insurers, community groups, public health officials, and State Universities. Currently, there are seven RHIOs that have received grants from the Florida Health Information Network and all seven of them have fully incorporated the health information exchange system. Those RHIOs currently are exchanging information with one another such as patients’ medical records and the system has proven to be secure so far.

In May 2006, the Florida State Legislature started the Florida Health Information Network Grants Program to provide $1.5 million in grants for fiscal year 2005-2006, and $2 million for 2006-2007 and 2007-2008. AHCA is responsible for distributing the grant money to health organizations in order to assist in the development of health information exchanges on the local level.

Currently, due to lack of Florida Health Information Network Grants Program funding the Agency will not be accepting or awarding FHIN Grant applications for FY 2008-2009.

Florida Health Information Network Privacy and Security Policy:

To ensure that the network develops in a secure, privacy-protected manner that supports good patient care, the Agency proposes these initial privacy policies of the Florida Health Information Network:

• The privacy and confidentiality of patient records is paramount;
• Authorization to use the network will be role-based, to limit access to the appropriate people;
• Providers will use two factor authentication to access the network;
• Connections to the network must use a secure and encrypted communication channel that meets the HIPAA Security Rule;
• Detailed logging of all requests to the server will allow for accurate audit trails of all records;
• Patients must give their consent for the electronic exchange of their medical records;
• The network will foster the transparency of health care for Florida’s consumers


In the year 2000, the Institute of Medicine reported medical errors as the cause of death for an estimated 44,000-98,000 Americans. By encouraging the adoption of EHRs and the development of RHIOs with the FHIN Grants Program, the grand vision for the FHIN is to connect all Florida health organizations with one network to create a clinical health information exchange. The FHIN is a big step in the journey to making health records more accurate, reliable, and readily available. This will benefit both health care patients and providers by minimizing miscommunication and misinformation in health records while maximizing health record availability.
The latest projects of the FHIN have been in correlation with the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, supported by President Obama. This act has engaged numerous activities to promote health information exchange, the adoption of health information technology, and access to health care services that require high speed broad band. These initiatives have been point to care model electronic health records, grants program, Florida e-prescribe clearinghouse, and privacy and resource center.

Web Resources:

Florida Health Information Network Grants Program

Related Terminology:
Electronic Health Records
Regional Health Information Organization

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