Arien Malec, vice president of product management and strategy in the RelayHealth division of McKesson Corp., has taken an eight-month leave of absence to lead an initiative to ease provider connectivity to the emerging nationwide health information network.

Malec will work in the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, heading up a new program called NHIN Direct. It is an effort to use a streamlined set of standards, services and policies to simplify linking to the NHIN for smaller and rural provider organizations.

The goal is a simple, standards-based, widely deployed and well-supported method for providers to securely transport health information using the Internet in support of Stage 1 criteria for meaningful use of electronic health records, according to a presentation ONC officials made during a National eHealth Collaborative-sponsored forum on Feb. 22.

NHIN Direct will support such functions as transmitting laboratory results from labs to providers, medication reconciliation, and care and discharge summaries. It also will serve as a foundation to support consumer engagement and public health activities.

--Joseph Goedert

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