The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology recently launched Query Health, a new initiative to establish standards and services for distributed population queries of electronic health records.

In a posting on ONC's blog, Doug Fridsma, M.D., director of the office of standards and interoperability, explains Query Health and asks industry participants to join one of three workgroups.

"In recent years, the use of distributed queries has become a growing focus of health information technology," Fridsma writes. "Instead of relying on centralized databases, the distributed query approach provides access to aggregate data for specific analytical purposes without identifying individual information, and allows the data to remain behind the health care organization's firewalls, thus maintaining patient privacy and security."

The workgroups seeking participants are Business (privacy, security, consent, sustainability, data use arrangements and best practices); Clinical (developing use cases, functional requirements and vocabulary); and Technical (implementation of standards and references, and support for pilot programs).

The blog is available here with more information at


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