Project Overview | Data and Functionality | Technical Design and Architecture 

Project Overview

The goal of this initiative is to facilitate the design and implementation of an integrated, statewide health data system to support the information needs of healthcare providers and consumers to improve the quality and efficiency of health care services in Delaware. Delaware Health Information Network (DHIN) is using a point-of-care model to create an electronic method for healthcare providers to receive (and eventually request) appropriate health-related information for their patients.


The DHIN partnership includes the following public and private organizations: Delaware Health Care Commission, Delaware Healthcare Association, Delaware State Chamber of Commerce, Delaware Department of Health and Social Services, Delaware Department of Insurance, Delaware State Budget Office, insurance providers (including Blue Cross Blue Shield of Delaware, Coventry Healthcare and Delaware Physicians Care), large employers (including AstraZeneca and Bank of America) and the Medical Society of Delaware.




Stakeholders include patients, physicians, hospitals, reference labs, insurers, policymakers, and employers.


The principal goal of DHIN is to share real-time clinical information among all health care providers (office practices, hospitals, labs, diagnostic facilities, and so on) across the State to improve patient outcomes and patient-provider relationships, while reducing service duplication and the rate of increase in health care spending.

State and Local Involvement

The Delaware Health Information Network (DHIN) was created by an act of the General Assembly and signed into law in 1997 as a public instrumentality of the State to advance the creation of a statewide health information and electronic data interchange network for public and private use. DHIN is considered a partnership between the State and healthcare providers.


  • Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality SRD Contract ($4.7 million)
  • State of Delaware ($2 million)
  • Private sector ($2.3 million)

Data and Functionality

DHIN is planning to exchange the following types of data:

  • Radiology Reports
  • Lab Results
  • Pathology Reports
  • Admission, Discharge, and Transfer (ADT) Reports
  • Face Sheets
  • Demographic Data
  • Referrals

DHIN will provide the following functions and services:

  • Clinical Messaging (from provider to provider) - Phase 1
    • Secure Messaging (in preferred format)
    • Audit Trail and Audit Reporting
  • Point of care (for patient and/or provider) - Later Phases
    • Patient Portal (record inquiry & viewing, remote access, multiple data sources
    • Disease management / decision support module
  • Administrative (for provider and payer) - Late Phases
    • Billing functions
    • Claims retrieval & processing

Technical Design and Architecture

DHIN plans to build a computerized network through which hospitals, labs, diagnostic facilities (e.g., x-ray facilities), and patients can have access to important clinical information for the purposes of improving healthcare quality and safety. The data will "live" at its point of origin -- the model does not include a centralized repository.

"Data Senders" will send messages via a hub (referred to as the "DHIN Utility") to "Data Receivers." Data is transmitted from each data sender to a data-sender-specific DataStage (cache) via existing interface engines in current Health Level 7 (HL7) standard format using TCP/IP over a secure virtual private network (VPN), using the Internet as the interface to reduce technical needs on the part of the provider. The design is based on a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA), which abstracts data into services that can be consumed by external sources, such as electronic medical records (EMRs) or automatic faxing and printing, as required by the receiving organizations.

Data Exchange Standards Used

Key Information

Applicant Organization
Delaware Health Information Network (DHIN)
Principal Investigator
Gina Perez
Contact Information
Gina Perez
16856 Yawl Court
Lewes, DE 19958
(302) 645-1490