eGovernment  In the United Nations E-Government Survey 2012, it is defined as “The employment of the Internet and the world-wide-web for delivering government information and services to the citizens.”[1]
eHealth eHealth (electronic health) can be defined as the use information and communication technology to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of health systems.
eHealth infrastructure In this eBook, we use the term eHealth infrastructure to mean shared networks and databases that facilitate health information exchange and analysis for care delivery, payment, surveillance, and health system management purposes.
Enterprise architecture Enterprise architecture, as defined by the National Institute of Health Enterprise Architecture, “is a comprehensive framework used to manage and align an organization’s Information Technology (IT) assets, people, operations, and projects with its operational characteristics. In other words, the enterprise architecture defines how information and technology will support the business operations and provide benefit for the business.”
Entity-relationship model “In software engineering, an entity–relationship model (ER model) is a data model for describing the data or information aspects of a business domain or its process requirements, in an abstract way that lends itself to ultimately being implemented in a database such as a relational database.” (Source: Wikipedia).
Fee-for-service “Fee-for-service (FFS) is a payment model where services are unbundled and paid for separately.” (Source: Wikipedia).
Global budget method A method of paying providers for healthcare services by payinga prospective lump sum to providers determined solely by the financing agency, regardless of actual services provided.
Interoperability Defined by HIMSS as: “Interoperability describes the extent to which systems and devices can exchange data, and interpret that shared data. For two systems to be interoperable, they must be able to exchange data and subsequently present that data such that it can be understood by a user.”
mHealth mHealth is an abbreviation for mobile health, a term used for the practice of using mobile technology (e.g., phones, tablets) to support health services and systems.
Profile According to IHE, “a profile documents how standards will be used by each system’s Actors to cooperate to address the problem.”
Sequence diagram As defined by Wikipedia, “a ‘Sequence diagram’ is an interaction diagram that shows how processes operate with one another and in what order.”
Short message service “Short Message Service (SMS) is a text messaging service component of phone, Web, or mobile communication systems. It uses standardized communications protocols to allow fixed line or mobile phone devices to exchange short text messages.” (Source: Wikipedia)
Sociotechnical system “Sociotechnical systems in organizational development are an approach to complex organizational work design that recognizes the interaction between people and technology in workplaces.” (Source: Wikipedia)
Stack A set or group of profiles that work together.
Standards Norms or requirements that must be met.
Terminology server “A terminology server is a piece of software providing a range of terminology-related software services through an applications programming interface.” (Source: Wikipedia)
Value chain Michael Porter, of the Harvard Business School, coined the term “value chain” to describe the entire production chain, from raw material and service inputs right up to final product or service ultimately consumed by the end user. For our purposes, the health care value chain includes the entirety of public health; preventive, primary, and acute care; and the management, supply chain, and financial systems that support these.

  1. United Nations. United Nations E-Government Survey 2012: E-Government for the People. New York: United Nations; 2012. Available at: 


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Connecting Health Information Systems for Better Health Copyright © 2014 by Joint Learning Network is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.