Beacon Communities

Helping improve population health by leveraging the power of advanced information technology to connect and improve care.


Aligning goals with local populations

As part of the HITECH Act, 17 healthcare communities were selected to participate in the Beacon Community Cooperative Agreement Program based on their innovative display of secure, private and accurate systems of electronic health record (EHR) adoption and health information exchange.

Each Beacon Community was tasked with measurable goals that align with local population needs. For example, communities may concentrate on ways to reduce costs and improve outcomes associated with essential care for chronic conditions, such as asthma and diabetes.

Beacon Affinity Group

Greenway regularly collaborates with several Beacon Communities and other EHR vendors as a part of the ONC Beacon-EHR Vendor Affinity Group. Communication between these organizations has become a vital key to achievement of the Beacon Communities’ mission and goals. Long-term goals include:

  • Using the definitions of a CCD to enable the automated import of selected discrete data into an EHR for a properly formatted and tested CCD with fully coded data
  • Make recommendations for patient consent technical implementation options within a health information exchange, leveraging existing standards such as IHE – BPPC and XACML
  • Address the use of industry standards (SAML 2.0 preferred, SAML 1.1 second) to implement the capability for a user, from within the EHR, to single signon and pass context to or from the HIE without new signons, passwords or complex middleware

To review more information on the progress that has been made by the ONC Beacon-EHR Affinity Group, see:

Beacon user stories

Technical Discovery Guide

Vendor Data Element Analysis