Introduction to Public Health & HIE

A health department administrator may ask if it is critical to join a health information exchange organization (HIO) today, and whether HIE will be important for her agency's future. Even if the answer to the first question is "No," the answer to the second is a definite "YES!"

This section of the Public Health & HIE Toolkit seeks to help public health departments to do the following:

  • understand health information exchange (HIE) services and the types of organizations providing them;
  • understand how a health department might use or support such services; and
  • assess if the value of participating in HIE will be worthwhile.

The toolkit also seeks to orient HIOs to the functions of health departments, and to their value as customers and partners in HIE.

For a high-level overview of public health and HIE, check out this infographic outlining the various ways that public health and HIE can work together!


Please click on the drop-down menus below to select a section, or use the tabbed navigation at the bottom of the page to continue.

What is Public Health?

An orientation for HIE leaders on health departments and how public health is organized, including:

  • Local, State and National Public Health
  • Core Functions, Essential Services and Accreditation
  • Health Departments and HIE

Go to What is Public Health?

What is Health Information Exchange?

An introduction to the two core functions of health information exchange (HIE):

  • HIE as a Verb
  • HIE as a Noun

Go to What is HIE?

HIE 101

A comprehensive overview of HIE services, organizations, initiatives and products, including:

  • The Basics
  • One-to-One Exchange: Going it Alone
  • HIO Shared Technologies and Participation Rules: Sharing the Load
  • Use Case Services and Products: What HIE Organizations Produce
  • HIE Organization Types
  • Nationwide Health Information Exchange
  • HIE Certification & Accreditation

Go to HIE 101.

Continue to Next Page: What is Public Health?

Navigate the Toolkit


Deciding to Engage

Engaging with HIE

Case Studies

Toolkit Downloads

A PDF of the complete Toolkit can be downloaded on the Public Health & HIE Toolkit Downloads page.  The PDF includes illustrations, footnotes and references not visible using the web version.  Individual tools and reference materials can also be downloaded from the Downloads page.

Return to the Public Health & HIE Toolkit Homepage.