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IHE-USA Connectathon: Growing Interest in Interoperability

IHE-USA strives to “drive adoption of standards-based interoperability to improve patient care through innovation, standards profiling, testing, education and collaboration.” Part of this mission is achieved through the IHE North American (N.A.) Connectathon, which will take place January 9–14, 2012 in Chicago. Notably, IHE is reporting that:

More than 100 leading health IT companies and research organizations have registered to test more than 180 health IT systems for interoperability and compliance with specifications called IHE profiles. This represents an increase of more than 20 percent over the 2011 event and indicates expanded recognition in the health IT community for standards-based interoperability and IHE profiles as a practical means of reaching this goal.

The Connectathon will test the participating health IT systems in the following clinical and operational domains:

  • Anatomic Pathology
  • Cardiology
  • IT Infrastructure
  • Laboratory
  • Patient Care Coordination
  • Patient Care Devices
  • Quality, Research and Public Health
  • Radiology

IHE develops “profiles,” which:

… provide precise implementation specifications, based on established standards, to address specific health IT interoperability issues. They detail required actions for health IT systems with many different functions to acquire, manage and communicate vital medical information effectively, while supporting efficient provider workflows and protecting private health information.

It is encouraging to see the increased interest in interoperability among the health IT industry as evidenced by the growth in the Connectathon.

Previously, Alan Brookstone, CEO of Cientis Technnologies and Co-Founder of AmericanEHR Partners, conducted a two-part interview with Dr. Mike McCoy from the IHE Patient Care Coordination Planning Committee. These podcasts are still available: Part 1 (How Does IHE Enable Care Providers to Use Information More Effectively?) & Part 2 (What Should You Ask an EHR Vendor About IHE?).

Disclosure alert: I serve on the IHE-USA Board of Directors.

This post is the personal opinion of the author and does not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the American College of Physicians (ACP). ACP does not endorse a specific EHR brand or product and ACP makes no representations, warranties, or assurances as to the accuracy or completeness of the information provided herein.



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