PRESS RELEASE: eHealth Initiative and Markle Foundation Offer Practical Tools for RHIO Creation and Health Information Exchange at Connecting Communities Learning Forum
  • A "must attend" for any state, region or community exploring health information exchange
  • National experts and hundreds of leaders from communities will converge upon Washington to share best practices and expand their knowledge base with newly introduced guides on eHI's Connecting Communities Toolkit
  • On March 2nd, Markle Foundation announced inclusion of sixth track in the Learning Forum focused on the Connecting for Health Common Framework
  • April 10-11, 2006
  • Hyatt Regency Hotel on Capitol Hill, Washington, DC
  • Connecting Communities Learning Forum
Contact: Karla Hurter
eHealth Initiative
Phone: (703) 319-0957

Recognizing that cost may be a barrier to many state, regional and community collaborators, eHI is offering scholarships for registration for those in need (email to apply). In addition, the Markle Foundation is offering a limited number of travel grants for qualifying individuals to attend the Forum. Contact Josh Lemieux of Omnimedix Institute at for travel grant information.

WASHINGTON DC USA -- HIT/HIPAA UPDATE NEWS SERVICE (TM) -- MARCH 9, 2006: Hundreds of public and private sector leaders from states, regions and communities across the country who are engaged in health information exchange will converge at the Hyatt Regency Hotel on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. April 10-11 for eHealth Initiative's Third Annual Connecting Communities Learning Forum and Exhibition.

Registration information is available at

  • Carolyn M. Clancy, MD, Director, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
  • Carol Diamond, MD, MPH, Chair, Connecting for Health; Managing Director, The Markle Foundation
  • Charles N. Kahn III, President, Federation of American Hospitals, member, American Health Information Community
  • John Lynch, Governor, State of New Hampshire
  • Mark McClellan, MD, Ph.D., Administrator, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
  • J. Marc Overhage, MD, Ph.D., F.A.C.P., F.A.C.M.I., President and Chief Executive Officer, Indiana Health Information Exchange
  • Micky Tripathi, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer, Massachusetts eHealth Collaborative
  • John Tooker, MD, MBA, Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer of the American College of Physicians
  • Scott Serota, President and Chief Executive Officer, Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, member, American Health Information Community

Registrants will learn from national experts and pioneering state, regional and community collaborators, lessons learned, best practices and practical insights for navigating the organizational, cultural, clinical, financial, legal and technical aspects of health information exchange.

Through workshops, registrants will learn how to apply a number of recently released practical tools and guides designed to immediately support challenges states, regions and communities are experiencing today.


National experts and leaders will share and teach registrants how to apply a range of common principles, tools and resources designed to support the engagement of stakeholders, organization and governance, financing, and building and launching a public policy campaign in your state, including the following:

  • Market assessment tool designed to assess your community's readiness for health information exchange.
  • A detailed cost model designed to assess the costs related to various functionalities of your health information exchange, including clinical messaging, medication reconciliation, electronic prescribing and quality performance measurement and reporting.
  • Tips and guides for engaging employers and health plans in your initiative, including a how-to session for launching Bridges to Excellence, an incentives program that rewards both quality and the HIT infrastructure to get there.
  • Real-world insights and a step by step guide for engaging state legislators and agency officials in clearing barriers and providing funding for emerging health information exchange initiatives.

On March 2, 2006, the Markle Foundation announced the addition of a sixth track for the Learning Forum. Based on the newly published Connecting for Health Common Framework, one set of workshops will share ideas about how you can protect patient privacy, while exchanging health information. The workshops will focus on how you can accomplish this with a set of essential common technical and policy standards, while using any hardware and software. Connecting for Health, a private-public collaborative of more than 100 organizations, is led and managed by the Markle Foundation.

Technical, legal, and policy experts will provide practical advice about:

  • Policies for designing health information-sharing networks or organizations
  • Common elements of health information exchange architecture
  • Achieving private and secure information exchange without central databases
  • Using a Record Locator Service to identify the location of patient records
  • Model contracts and template materials
  • Building community trust in information exchange
  • Implications for doctors and consumers
  • Learning from experiences of other regional networks
  • Anticipating and overcoming implementation challenges

The eHealth Initiative generously supports the Connecting Communities Learning Forum. Accordingly, registration rates are affordable:

eHI Members

Through March 17, 2006
After March 17, 2006


Through March 17, 2006
After March 17, 2006

Government (Includes federal and state regulatory and policy employees) $295

Individuals employed by communities, regional health information organizations, and government agencies directly involved in health information exchange $295

Aggregate price to 3 individuals from the same organization. Must be employed by communities, regional health information organizations, and government agencies directly involved in health information exchange (this registration option is only available via fax or mail registration - please download form here) $495

  • American Cancer Society
  • American Clinical Laboratory Association
  • American College of Emergency Physicians
  • American College of Physicians
  • American Health Information Management Association
  • American Health Quality Association
  • American Hospital Association
  • American Medical Association
  • American Osteopathic Association
  • Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association
  • Bridges to Excellence
  • Computing Technology Industry Association
  • Council for Affordable Quality Healthcare
  • Federation of American Hospitals
  • Health Tech Strategies, LLC
  • Medical Education Collaborative
  • National Association of State Chief Information Officers
  • National Conference of State Legislators
  • National Governors Association Center for Best Practices
  • Pacific Business Group on Health
  • Public Health Data Standards Consortium
  • United Hospital Fund
  • URAC
  • Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange

Registration information is available at Please make your hotel reservations today and register now!