The process by which an individual's im-
mune system becomes fortified against an
agent (known as the immunogen).
interoperability / compatibility
The ability of software and hardware on
multiple pieces of equipment made by differ-
ent companies or manufacturers to communi-
cate and work together.
Specific requirements or instructions for im-
plementing a standard.
A private sector United States-based not-for-
profit organizationthat operates accreditation
programs for a fee to subscriber hospitals and
other health care organizations.
The application of computer technology to
the management of information.
One form of external application used to en-
ter or interface with patient data and EMRs
(Electronic Medical Records). Typically used
by hospital pathology departments or inde-
pendent laboratories to record activity in the
department and transmit or store various test results
Program written so that data can be shared
across two disparate systems.
Establishing an amount that may be bor-
rowed from a bank at a given cost.
A nationwide healthcare insurance program
created by the 1965 amendments to the So-
cial Security Act and operated under the pro-
visions of the Act for the aged (65 and over),
disabled, and individuals with end-stage re-
nal disease. It consists of two separate but
coordinated programs, Part A and Part B.
The United States health program for eligi-
ble individuals and families with low incomes
and resources. It is a means tested program
that is jointly funded by the state and federal
governments, and is managed by the states.
A standard code set covering medical
terms, procedures and diagnoses maintained
by Regenstrief and adopted by the largest
commercial laboratories and most Federal
agencies. It facilitates the exchange of clini-
cal lab results for clinical care, public health
outcomes management, and research.
Also known as "the Alliance" is a part-
nership of leaders from all healthcare sectors
working to advance the adoption and imple-
mentation of healthcare information technol-
ogy to achieve improvements in patient safety,
quality and efficiency.
The identifying drug number maintained by
the Food and Drug Administration. Manu-
facturers that have executed Pharmaceutical
Pricing Agreements (PPA) report quarterly
information to the Office of Pharmacy Affairs
by this number including labeler code, prod-
uct code, and package size code.
Publication (in the Federal Register) of the
intent to issue a rule, or regulation that solic-
its comments and public comment
Describes the technologies, standards, laws,
policies, programs and practices that enable
health information to be shared among health
decision makers, including consumers and pa-
tients, to promote improvements in health
A law in several states requiring all regis-
tered motor vehicles to be covered by personal
injury protection insurance. Under this law,
a person's own motor vehicle insurance com-
pany pays for expenses relating to an accident
regardless of who caused the accident.
The HIPAA-mandated, standard, unique
identifier for health care providers. It is an in-
telligence free numeric identifier, which means
that the numbers do not carry information
about health care providers, such as the state
in which they practice or their provider type
The US Department of Health and Human
Services office, established in 2004, to pro-
vide leadership for the development and na-
tionwide implementation of an interoperable
health information infrastructure.
Software in which the source code is avail-able to users, who can read and modify the
code. VISTA, the EMR system created by
the Veterans Administration hospital system,
is an example of this type of EMR.
Chart to manage the scheduling, duration,
and progress of tasks in a large project
An information system that uses an image
server to store and exchange X-rays, CT Scans
and other medical images over a network.
Individually identifiable health information
protected under the HIPAA Administrative
An application responsible for recording
and reporting administrative details of a pa-
tients encounter in a hospital. Episode de-
tails generated from this application may be
initially stored in an intermediate EMR and
then sent to an EHR as part of an EHR ex-
tract such as a discharge summary.
Structure within the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention (CDC) that supports
exchange of public health data.
An electronic record of health-related infor-
mation on an individual that conforms to na-
tionally recognized interoperability standards
and that can be drawn from multiple sources
while being managed, shared, and controlled
by the individual
Typically used by hospital pharmacy de-
partments to record activity in the depart-
ment and store or access EMRs. Dispensed
medications generated from this system may
be initially stored in an intermediate EMR
and then sent to an EHR as part of an EHR
extract such the current medication list in a
A Web site that offers a range of resources,
such as e-mail, chat boards, search engines,
content and online shopping. Typical exam-
ples include MSNBC.com and Yahoo.com.
That portion of the medical office record
which contains financial, demographic and
non-medical information about patients.
A procedure used to review and assess the
medical necessity and appropriateness of elec-
tive hospital admissions and non-emergency
outpatient services before the services are pro-
vided. Related to pre-certification.
The electronic means by which patient files
are located to assist patients and clinicians
to find test results, medical history, prescrip-
tion data, and other health information. A
record locator would act as a secure health
information search tool.
Services that must be coordinated and ap-
proved by the health plan's medical or be-
havioral healthcare management programs to
be fully covered by the plan. To avoid a re-
duction or denial of benefits, members must
Evaluation of direct patient care, measured
around diagnosis, medical condition, or care
processes along with outcomes of the medical
A condition, disease, illness or injury for
which medical advice, diagnosis, care or treat-
ment was received or recommended within
a specified time period prior to enrolling in
Analysis of processes to effect changes that
bring about benefits.
Formerly peer review organization (PRO);
a company contracted by CMS to conduct uti-
lization reviews for the federal government.
They are associated with the DOQ-IT pro-
Tool that aids in describing current pro-
cesses so they may be evaluated for improve-
Combines physical hard disks into a single
logical unit either by using special hardware
or software. Hardware solutions often are de-
signed to present themselves to the attached
system as a single hard drive. Software so-
lutions are typically implemented in the op-
erating system, and again would present the
array as a single drive to applications.
Main memory, sometimes called cache,
where data are placed during processing.
Document that requests a formal proposal
from a vendor, to be included as part of con-
Document that is limited in scope sent to
many vendors to obtain general information.
A multi-stakeholder organization that en-
ables the exchange and use of health informa-
tion, in a secure manner, for the purpose of
promoting the improvement of health quality,
safety and efficiency. Officials from the HHS
see them as the building blocks for the Na-
tional Health Information Network (NHIN).
Use of radio waves via an antenna and
transceiver to transmit data. May be used
in inventory management, patient identifica-
tion, and medication verification.
One form of external application used to en-
ter or interface with patient data and EMRs.
Typically used by hospital radiology depart-
ments to record activity in the department.
An analysis that projects the duration of
time over which the financial benefits will
equal and then exceed the costs. Best mea-
sured by helping clients value the impact of
EHR on patient safety, healthcare quality,
population health, and individual satisfac-
tion, as well as the economic costs and sav-
Permanent storage in a computer where
programs are kept to manage the computer.
A network of storage devices connected to
the main computer network via a fiber op-
tic channel hub, usually at the data center.
Data can be stored at separate computers for
scalable, consolidated and efficient storage.
A database in which all information is ar-
ranged in tables containing predefined fields.
Changing a field in one record automatically
changes the same field in all related records,
allowing for easy global database manage-
Any entity whose primary activities are de-
veloping, coordinating, promulgating, revis-
ing, or otherwise maintaining standards that
address the interests of a wide base of users
outside the organization itself. For EMRs,
these entities include: ASTM CCR; ANSI
X12; CEN EN13606; DICOM; HL7; ISO
TC215; Canada Health Infoway; OpenEHR
Foundation; HIMSS; and XML.
A network device that forwards packets
from one network to another. Based on in-
ternal routing tables, these devices read each
incoming packet and decide how to forward
it. It also assigns unique network addresses to
all the computers (IP addresses).
A format for medical documentation, the
proper fields for which may be included in an
Programming language used to request
data from a relational database. Its scope
includes data query and update, schema cre-
ation and modification, and data access con-
A networked computer that manages a spe-
cific set of network resources. May manage
network traffic or peripheral use, store files, or
run applications for users at other computers
on the network.
The ability to add users and increase the ca-
pabilities of an application without having to
making significant changes to the application
software or the system on which it runs.
A nomenclature created by the College
of American Pathologists (CAP) for use in
pathology. It has gradually been extended
to cover other domains of medicine and now
contains over 150,000 terms. The federal gov-
ernment has signed a contract with CAP for
a perpetual license for the core terminology
that makes it available to users in the U.S. at
An electronic device about the size of a
credit card that contains electronic memory
and, increasingly, an embedded microchip.
These are used to store data-in a health care
context, this is often personal health informa-
tion. The data can be accessed using a reader
into which the card is inserted.
Professional membership organization of
The instructions in a given application;
preferable not to alter to meet a customer
needs because of future upgrade implications.
Data that is managed by technology that
allows for querying and reporting against pre-
determined data types and understood rela-
Services provided by specialists, not by
your primary care physician (PCP). For ex-
ample, an allergist (who treats allergies) or a
radiologist (who uses x-rays for diagnosis and
treatment) are specialists.
Process by which tools supplied in the EHR
application are used to customize or tailor the
EHR to suit organizational preferences.
Law named after the legislator who in-
troduced it that prohibits referrals among
providers who have financial relationships
with each other.
Types of transmission lines in the T-carrier
telecommunications system that are often
used to provide Internet access to larger or-
ganizations. T1 lines can transmit about 1.5
Mbps of data. A T3 line contains 28 T1 lines
together and can transmit about 45 times the
data of a single T1, enough for full-motion
video. Six T3 lines make one T4 line, capable
of transmitting about 274 Mbps.
Communications protocol that undergirds
the Internet and communications between
computers in a network. Matches the size
of the messages on either end of a transmis-
sion and guarantees that the correct message
has been received. Contains the address of the
destination network as well as the destination
station to allow transmission to multiple net-
works and stations.
A form of telemedicine that involves elec-
tronic transmission of radiographic patient
images and consultative text.
A computer shaped in the form of a note-
book except it has the capabilities of being
written on through the use of digitizing tablet
technology or a touch screen. A user can use
a stylus and operate the computer without a
keyboard or mouse.
In a client/server system, a client with lit-
tle processing or data storage capability that
primarily relies on a central server to perform
The use of telecommunications and infor-
mation technology to deliver health services
and transmit health information over dis-
tance. Sometimes called telehealth.
Tool to determine the various tasks that
must be undertaken to achieve a given objec-
tive, often helping to define the true scope of
Data which is not structured such as free-
text. The computer cannot automatically
extract properties and relationships from un-
Computer technology in which physicians
use handheld or personal computer devices
to review drug and formulary coverage and
transmit prescriptions to a printer, EMR or
pharmacy. This software can be integrated
with existing clinical information systems to
allow access to patient-specific information to
screen for drug interactions and allergies.
A network that uses public connections,
such as the Internet, to link users but relies
on encryption and other security measures to
ensure that only authorized users can access
Improvement of the sequence of steps in
a process within a business or business unit.
Usually consists of an adaptation of current
work processes to optimize or a new design of
optimal process and elimination of the current
A proposed standard for delivering content
to mobile wireless devices such as cellular
phones and handhelds. Also refers toWireless
Security protocol for wireless networks in-
tended to improve upon WEP.
A data communications system that pro-
vides wireless peer-to-peer (e.g., PC-to-PC,
PC-to-hub, and printer-to-hub) and point-to-
point (e.g., LAN-to-LAN) connectivity within
a building or campus environment. In place
of the twisted-pair, coaxial wires or optical fi-
bre used in conventional LANs, these systems
transmit and receive data over electromag-