Interoperability is Advanced through Collaboration during IHE Connectathon Week

The spirit of collaboration to improve patient care through high quality, interoperable health information technology (IT) was in the air in Cleveland, Ohio when the IHE North American Connectathon Week 2016 kicked off on January 25 at the co-located facilities of the Cleveland Convention Center, the Global Center for Health Innovation, and the HIMSS Innovation Center. Over 142 organizations and 600 health IT professionals attended the events during this important week. 

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It Was the Place to Be… In Case You Missed It

Winter weather can be unpredictable. But typically the Midwest is snowy and cold in January. This year, however, the East Coast took the hit, landing several feet of snow in less than 24 hours. This didn't stop the IHE North American (NA) Connectathon Week 2016, as 530 registered system engineers braved the cold, and some making extraordinary efforts, to get to Cleveland. IHE USA President, Joyce Sensmeier, recaps the exciting week of testing, education, and training for those of you who may have missed out.

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Sharing Patient Health Data for Better Outcomes

Quality and effective patient care includes the use of health information technology, that is, a system in which patients and their clinicians can easily and securely access health information -- anytime and anywhere. The IHE North American Connectathon Week, unites more than 1,000 health IT professionals and leading organizations as collaborators to advance health IT interoperability in North America. In fact, the testing portion of the week is the world’s largest testing event for the secure, interoperable exchange of patient health information.

In the January 12 edition of Crain’s Cleveland eNewsletter takes an in-depth look at the upcoming IHE NA Connectathon 2016, where two speakers share their insights on interoperability and their innovative work with IHE USA and IHE International.

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#EmpowerHIT at IHE North American Connectathon Week 2016

From January 25 - 29, more than 500 software engineers will come together at the Cleveland Convention Center and the HIMSS Innovation Center, at the Global Center for Health Innovation, for the inaugural IHE North American Connectathon Week. This is the first year for the week-long event of testing, training, education, certification awards and networking events, an exciting expansion that follows 15 years of a more singular focus on vendor product testing. Discover upcoming IHE NA Connectathon Week activities and register today.

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Leveraging the Best Available Standards for Today, Tomorrow and the Future

The 2016 Advisory represents feedback from public comment on the 2015 Interoperability Standards Advisory, as well as recommendations from the HIT Standards Committee. The Advisory is designed to create a common ground that covers clinical health IT interoperability. And with this new publication, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) took a non-regulatory, straight-forward approach, including an interactive, predictable process for updates.

What should be our response? The IHE NA Connectathon Leadership Conference is a great place to get started.

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IHE Submits Comments to ONC's Draft 2016 Interoperability Standards Advisory

On November 6, 2015, Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE) International and IHE USA submitted written comments to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) in response to the Draft 2016 Interoperability Standards Advisory (ISA). IHE's comments focused on (1) the maturity levels included in the ISA; (2) success criteria and metric for measuring the ISA's impact on interoperability; (3) encourage ONC recognition of ConCert by HIMSS™ certification program and IHE International's Conformity Assessment program.

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IHE USA Contributes to New GAO Report on Health Information Interoperability Efforts

In September 2015, IHE USA participated in an interview with the Government Accountability Office (GAO) for a report entitled, Nonfederal Efforts to Help Achieve Health Information Interoperability, which outlines barriers to interoperability of EHRs. The recently published report argues inadequate health data standards and variation in state privacy rules are key barriers to EHR interoperability.

Read the full report.

Greenway Health Launches Interoperability University to Train Tomorrow’s Technology Innovators

Carrollton, Georgia — June 30, 2015 — Interoperability — the secure, free-flowing sharing of data among information systems and healthcare providers, patients and payers — is an essential foundation for improving care coordination and both financial and clinical outcomes. But knowledgeable experts in this critical field are often in short supply. Greenway Health™, named one of Georgia’s top 10 most innovative companies by the Technology Association of Georgia (TAG), has developed a program that recruits and trains people to become the interoperability experts of today and tomorrow through the new Greenway Interoperability University.

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IHE International's Vision Depends on You

Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE) International has become a leader in advancing interoperability because of the commitment of organizations like yours. As IHE looks to the future, they are asking for your support to bring this vision to life. IHE has a plan to build on the foundation established to enable seamless and secure access to health information, whenever and wherever needed--our 2020 Vision. The goal is to secure the resources needed to be the leading provider worldwide of guidance, testing and implementation services to achieve interoperability in health IT.

The success of this vision relies on your continued support and participation. Starting on July 1, 2015, IHE International will adopt a fee-based membership model, tiered by type and size of organization to enable all stakeholders to participate.

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IHE Provides Comments to ONC's NPRM on the 2015 Edition HIT Certification Criteria

IHE International and IHE USA provided written comments to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) in response to the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on the 2015 Edition Health Information Technology (Health IT) Certification Criteria, 2015 Edition Base Electronic Health Record (EHR) Definition, and ONC Health IT Certification Program Modifications. IHE and IHE USA shared their support for the ongoing efforts of ONC and their gratification to see IHE’s technical specifications so well represented throughout the 2015 Edition Health Information Technology Certification Criteria. IHE and IHE USA look forward to continued open dialogue and collaboration with ONC to promote their shared goals.

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Luxembourg Hosts 15th IHE Europe Connectathon and First IHE International Conformity Assessment

From April 20 – 24 2015, Luxembourg will be hosting the IHE-Europe Connectathon, for the first time in its 15 year history. It will also be the first time that the Connectathon has, running in parallel (22-24 April), the IHE International Conformity Assessment Program undertaken by an established ISO17025 accredited testing laboratory – Kereval. Conformity Assessment delivers additional testing rigour and increased confidence of compliance to those procuring (http://ihe-europe.net/ihe-services/conformity-assessment).

The IHE Connectathon is a “test marathon” that provides all companies, large and small, the opportunity to test their products in a structured environment across a variety of domains including Radiology, Cardiology, Pathology, Patient Care Devices, Patient Care Coordination, Pharmacy, Laboratory, Dental and crucially IT Infrastructure, along with those of their peer vendors. Real world clinical scenarios following IHE Integration Profile specifications are used.

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New ConCert by HIMSS™ Program Takes Interoperability Testing and Certification to Next Level

CHICAGO (April 12, 2015) - HIMSS announced the launch of the ConCert by HIMSS™, testing and certification program that assures secure and reliable transfer of data among electronic health records, health information exchanges, and health information services providers within and across organizational and state boundaries.

Building on the work of the EHR/HIE Interoperability Workgroup (IWG) and IHE USA, ConCert by HIMSS offers a unique, independent seal of approval for EHR, HIE and HISP systems. ICSA Labs serves as the testing and certification body for this effort.

The new program, unveiled at the 2015 HIMSS Annual Conference & Exhibition in Chicago, addresses a key obstacle in today’s healthcare system: many IT systems cannot connect with each other, creating the need for costly and custom interfaces to be built each time systems are interconnected.  Thus, for the greatest impact on the quality of healthcare delivery, IT systems in individual physician practices, hospitals, clinics, labs and radiology centers must seamlessly and easily exchange data. This interchange requires a consistent and standard way of connecting to each other.

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IHE Comments on ONC's Draft Interoperability Roadmap

IHE International and IHE USA offer comments to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) of the draft "Connecting Health and Care for the Nation: A Shared Nationwide Interoperability Roadmap." IHE is excited to be apart of the collective effort to enable higher quality care and better health outcomes.

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IHE Unveils its 2020 Vision

Since its inception in 1998, Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE) has become a worldwide initiative driving the interoperability of health IT systems. IHE produces standards-based specifications and delivers testing services that enhance the connectivity of HIT products and provide the foundation for exchange of health information.

IHE International has matured into an organization boasting over 700 organizational members representing 45 countries and 13 domains of clinical and operational expertise. There are also currently 22 national and regional organizations around the world facilitating deployment of IHE specifications.

In addition to publishing the IHE Technical Frameworks, IHE International oversees programs for conformity assessment, testing tool development, liaison with other health organizations, education and outreach. To support this expanding role, the IHE International Board is announcing a campaign to build a more robust organization, ready to meet tomorrow’s challenges--IHE’s 2020 Vision.

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IHE North American Connectathon 2015: Achieving Interoperability & Improving Patient Care

The new location and facilities in Cleveland, Ohio helped revitalize the event and expand awareness for Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise's role in the future of health information technology

CHICAGO (February 13, 2015) - The spirit of collaboration to improve health with information technology came to Cleveland, Ohio when the IHE North American Connectathon 2015 opened in January 2015. Almost 100 organizations and 555 engineers attended this annual testing event. After 16 years in Chicago, the event moved to downtown Cleveland, a transition bringing the North American Connectathon to the new co-located facilities of the Cleveland Convention Center and Global Center for Health Innovation, which is the location of the HIMSS Innovation Center.

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ONC Publishes Draft Interoperability Roadmap

The draft nationwide health IT Interoperability Roadmap was announced in a press release on Friday, January 30, 2015. IHE USA President, Joyce Sensmeier, shared IHE USA's support for the guiding principles that is publicized on the ONC's website. IHE Profiles and the IHE Connectathon were referenced throughout the Roadmap as core components to enable interoperability in the U.S. Public comment for the draft Roadmap closes on April 3, 2015.

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Channel 19 Action News Features IHE NA Connectathon 2015

Reporter Dan DeRoos of Cleveland’s (WOIO) 19 Action News visited the IHE NA Connectathon 2015 on Wednesday, January 28, 2015 to learn more about interoperability and how the IHE Connectathon is making advances to improve patient care. The story was featured on the 4PM and 6PM broadcasts. Interviewees included IHE USA President, Joyce Sensmeier and Sales Engineer, Tom Spencer of InterSystems. Proof that with the move to Cleveland, the North American Connectathon is making a big splash!

View the full news clip.

New Program to Simplify Digital Health Data Exchange, Making it Easier for Healthcare Providers to Get Connected Health IT

HIMSS, IHE USA and the EHR/HIE Interoperability Workgroup announce plan to streamline and strengthen how electronic health records and health information exchanges share patient data 

CHICAGO and NEW YORK CITY (November 17, 2014) – Health information technology customers expect products to work efficiently and consistently - whether it’s a Wi-Fi connection for a computer or the ability to securely share health data across computer systems, states or regions.

Building on its current effort to connect electronic health records (EHRs) to health information exchanges (HIEs), the EHR/HIE Interoperability Workgroup (IWG) has formed a strategic relationship with HIMSS and Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE) USA to streamline the process for achieving connectivity between EHR and HIE systems. This alliance will strengthen IWG’s current program to test and certify EHRs and HIE vendors to enable reliable transfer of data within and across organizational and state boundaries. ICSA Labs has been selected as the testing and certification body for this effort.

Read full press release. Learn more about this new testing and certification program on IWG's website.

Innovation Matters at IHE North American Connectathon 2015

CHICAGO (November 19, 2014) – Interoperability in health information technology is the implementation of secure and consistent exchange of health data across information systems. It is the foundation for making data accessible to care providers and patients in all the various settings where healthcare is delivered.

More than 100 health IT organizations will gather at the Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE) North American (NA) Connectathon 2015 to test the interoperability of their systems and ensure information flows seamlessly. The event will take place at the Cleveland Convention Center and HIMSS Innovation Center, in Cleveland, Ohio from Jan. 26-30, 2015. IHE Connectathons provide a full week of industry collaboration to accelerate interoperability. Leading health IT vendors and organizations converge in a spirit of collaboration to advance information exchange that supports quality patient care through the effective use of health IT.

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CDISC 2014 Business Case Highlights Significant Time and Cost Savings through Use of CDISC Standards in Medical Research Studies

Austin, TX – 20 October 2014 – The Clinical Data Interchange Standards Consortium (CDISC) is pleased to announce an extensive update to the CDISC Business Case for the use of global, consensus-based standards for clinical research data and related areas of healthcare. One key message, re-emphasized from the previous Gartner business case, is that the use of CDISC standards at project initiation can save 70 - 90% of time and resources spent prior to first patient enrolled and approximately 75% of the non-patient participation time during the Study Conduct and Analysis stages. CDISC standards reap substantial benefits, qualitative and quantitative, during the entire research process for all types of research studies including academic, nutritional, device, outcomes and regulated research. These will be topics of discussion at the 2014 CDISC International Interchange, where speakers will share tangible implementation experiences.

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From the Field, Part II: A 21st Century Process That Will Work for All

An Interview with Lisa Anne Schamus, Director of Programs, AFHP
The Arizona Family Health Partnership (AFHP) shared the draft FPAR 2.0 Encounter Form and other documents with our sub-recipient agencies and asked them to provide feedback.  Additionally, AFHP’s data manager, who has worked with Title X encounter data from our sub-recipients also reviewed and commented on the materials.  Feedback from these sources was combined into one set of comments.  Because AFHP sub-recipients have been submitting encounter-level data for over a decade, most of the comments were very specific, drilling down to the level of how items are or are not currently collected.  AFHP gave very specific comments on which fields might be a challenge to collect, which values might be problematic to collect, and requested clearer definitions for specific performance measures.

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IHE USA Submits Comments to ONC for Joint HIT Policy and Standards Committee

October 14, 2014 -- IHE USA President, Joyce Sensmeier, provided comments to the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) as part of the public record for the upcoming Joint HIT Policy and Standards Committee meeting. IHE USA's comments addressed JASON Report Recommendations submitted by the JASON Task Force and focused on continuing the adoption and utilization of IHE in advancing interoperability in the U.S.

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Read IHE Profiles enabling KeyHIE (as referenced in comments).

IHE Europe Announces Luxembourg will host 15th annual IHE European Connectathon, April 20-24, 2015

October 8, 2014 – IHE-Europe is delighted to announce that the city of Luxembourg will host the fifteenth annual Connectathon from 20th to 24th April 2015. Following hot on the heels of the successful Vienna, Austria Connectathon in April 2014, where the “test marathon” saw 70 plus companies testing over 100 systems with some 300 technicians, developers and marketers present, Luxembourg promises to be a very special venue for the five days of interoperability testing.

Luxembourg is at the very center of the European Union, not only geographically but also symbolically as the seat of the European Court of Justice, the Secretariat of the European Parliament, the European Investment Bank and Investment Fund. Furthermore, its governmental programme has set priority on two of Europe’s Digital agenda items - the development of ICT and of eHealth technologies. This makes Luxembourg the ideal location for the centerpiece of the IHE-Europe calendar - the 2015 Connectathon.

Read the full press release.

From the Field, Part I: Where the Rubber Hits the Road

For our introductory installment, we spoke to three people about the comments they submitted regarding the IHE Family Planning Profile, during the public comment period in June of this year. This is just the first interview in a series of three.

An interview with Nikki Sayer, Reproductive Health Nurse Manager, Eastern Idaho Public Health
Going through the process of implementing an EMR system and attempting to pull data sets that may or not be related to meaningful use, which most clinics are more interested in, I thought it would be beneficial to speak up about the challenges that I faced. I was told by our vendor that it would not be hard to pull the data [from our system] but found during the process that it is more difficult than it appears. I feel I am in a unique place to provide input from a clinical and IT perspective to assist in transitioning to a new but valuable data set to provide information that will give OPA the groundwork to continue to provide Title X services throughout the country.

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Vienna plays host to IHE-Europe 2014 Connectathon

From April 7th - 11th 2014, Vienna will be hosting the IHE-Europe Connectathon for the second time in five
years, proving IHE-Austria’s commitment in driving and supporting IHE adoption. This strong commitment
from Austria’s Government is also reflected in another important initiative launched by Austrian Government
5 years ago, namely the Public Health Research programme ELGA, which is based on selected IHE Integration

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Update on ONC's S&I Initiatives and IHE

In an article entitled "Debrief on IHE Domain Volume One Meeting and S&I Initiatives," published in the March S&I Framework Newsletter, ONC provides and update on the three S&I Initiatives participating in IHE's Call for Proposal process: Data Access Framework (DAF), Data Segmentation for Privacy (DS4P), and Structured Data Capture (SDC). The IHE Domain Volume One meeting boasts fruitful as "there was an abundance of great debate and conversation." Additionally, the article features summaries of the discussions that took place regarding each initiative.

Read the full article.

IHE North American Connectathon Continues to Expand Interoperability Testing

IHE USA held its 16th annual North American Connectathon in Chicago, January 27-31. This year’s event brought together 113 companies to test the interoperability and conformance to standards of more than 146 health IT systems. Fierce competing vendors collaboratively tested system capabilities based on IHE Profiles that are developed by IHE domain committees. Key areas of expansion included mobile access, patient care devices, laboratory systems and cross-enterprise exchange of information.

Again this year, IHE USA continued the expansion of testing services at the IHE North American (NA) Connectathon. A new testing track called New Directions was launched to foster cooperation amongst interoperability leaders and evaluate best practices for hospitals and medical offices to streamline the secure exchange of patient data. New Directions enables testing of emerging specifications developed by IHE and other standards organizations, including the HIMSS Health Story Project and a joint initiative between IHE USA and the Standards & Interoperability (S&I) Framework to develop a model for federated healthcare provider directories.

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Connectathon Takes New Direction

Aims to foster collaboration among interoperability efforts
CHICAGO | January 31, 2014

The Office of the National Coordinator  had a place at the table for the 15th annual IHE North American Connectathon, and it was filled by Doug Fridsma, MD, chief science officer and director of the ONC’s Office of Science and Technology and four members of his team. They were championing an effort called New Directions designed to foster cooperation among interoperability leaders.

The event, Jan. 27-31, in the basement of  the Hyatt Regency in Chicago drew more than 100 health IT companies eager to test their interoperability prowess.

As keynote speaker for the IHE North American Connectathon Conference on Jan. 29, Fridsma emphasized pulling together the interoperability initiative into a cohesive movement with concrete goals and strategy. He added, however,that “too many people see interoperability as a destination, and it isn’t – it should be about the ability to exchange and use information.”

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CCHIT ending testing and certification of EHRs

The Certification Commission for Health Information Technology is getting out of the business of testing and certifying electronic health-record systems after nearly a decade as the first and still most-commonly used provider of those services in the U.S.

The organization also stopped taking applications for testing and certification services from vendors Tuesday and will finish work on about 70 of those systems it has in the pipeline and wind down that part of its operations by April or May, CCHIT Executive Director Alisa Ray said.

Today, roughly half of all health IT systems on the official Certified Health IT Product List kept by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology at HHS have been tested and certified by CCHIT.

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Advancing Secure Data Exchange Focus of NA Connectathon Conference 2014

With hospitals, medical practices and other patient care sites using health IT, many of these organizations are now ready to introduce additional functionality for secure data exchange of patient health information in their interoperable health systems. The IHE North American Connectathon Conference 2014, sponsored by IHE USA, in collaboration with IHE Canada, will be held on Jan. 29 at the Hyatt Regency Chicago, 151 E. Wacker Drive, in Chicago.

Read the full Press Release.

Stage Set for Big Interoperability Push

Organizers add Connectathon Conference Jan. 29 to the annual IHE Connectathon event in Chicago
CHICAGO | January 3, 2014

The push for meaningful use Stage 3 has reached a point where a confluence of power structures are ready for more breakthroughs – hence, the impetus for collaboration among IHE USA, ONC and S&I Framework, officials from these groups say.

Closer ties between Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise USA, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT and Standards and the ONC’s Interoperability Framework is necessary for interoperability to reach meaningful use Stage 3, said Joyce Sensmeier, IHE USA president and HIMSS vice president of informatics.

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Continua, IHE to Boost Interoperability at Annual Meet

Continua Health Alliance will co-locate its upcoming U.S. Plugfest at IHE North America Connectathon 2014, Jan. 28-29, in Chicago. The IHE NA Connectathon is billed as the largest interoperability testing event for health IT in the country. It attracts 100 vendors and more than 600 engineers to test more than 160 systems.

Continua, an international nonprofit organization, employs global technology industry standards to develop end-to-end, plug-and-play connectivity for personal connected health. IHE USA is a nonprofit organization focused on driving the adoption of standards-based interoperability to improve patient care. Co-locating the IHE NA Connectathon and the Continua Plugfest will offer electronic health records and health information exchange participants new opportunities to work toward integration of personal connected health devices, which will help companies and healthcare organizations meet the goals of meaningful use Stage 3 and accountable care, officials say.

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Swan song for Connectathon in Windy City

Anticipation about the IHE North American Connectathon’s move to Cleveland in 2015 is running high among the event’s organizers, though they insist that they are not looking past their final year in Chicago Jan. 27-31, 2014.

In fact, there are many reasons for excitement at the Windy City event, namely the rollout of the New Directions testing track, designed for testing of innovative health IT applications still in development. Testing services offered in the New Directions track will be sponsored by the IHE USA’s partnering organizations in the healthcare IT industry.

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IHE USA & Continua Health Alliance Expand Product Testing Capability

BEAVERTON,  Ore. (November, 8, 2013) - Continua Health Alliance and IHE USA (Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise USA) today announced that Continua will co-locate its upcoming U.S. Plugfest at IHE North America (NA) Connectathon 2014, Jan. 28-29, in Chicago. The IHE NA Connectathon is the largest interoperability testing event for health IT in the U.S., attracting 100 vendors testing 160+ systems and 600+ engineers last year. Continua is the leading organization convening global technology industry standards to develop end-to-end, plug-and-play connectivity for personal connected health. IHE USA is a non-profit organization focused on driving the adoption of standards-based interoperability to improve patient care.

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HIMSS Health Information Standards Workgroup Publishes Guide for Evaluating HIT Standards

This document is to provide a set of principles intended to facilitate the support of particular standards and implementation guides, as well as recommendations of those that should be considered for development by the industry to improve widespread adoption and deployment of interoperability in health information technology (HIT) systems. The included historical perspective provides further context on how the various standards initiatives are coordinated in the United States (U.S.). The goal of these efforts is to establish consistent, compatible, and usable standards that enable interoperability across the myriad software solutions that support providers, both internally and externally to their organizations.

See complete document.

Products From 8 Health IT Vendors Are First to Become IHE USA Certified

CHICAGO, IL. -- A healthcare certification program -- launched early this year to help address one of the industry’s most challenging issues, the incompatibility of many software and IT systems – has certified the first group of health IT products. Under the pilot program, a joint initiative of IHE USA and ICSA Labs, the products met rigorous testing requirements for security and interoperability.

The certified products are offered by eight health-IT vendors: Baxter Healthcare Corporation, B. Braun Medical Inc., CareFusion Corporation, Corepoint Health, Greenway Medical Technologies Inc., Hospira Inc., InterSystems Corporation and Masimo Corporation. 

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IHE USA Publishes “Interoperability for Dummies” A Guide to Health IT

Across the world, various communities in Health Information Technology (IT) are developing methods for exchanging health information among healthcare providers, patients, and other authorized parties to revolutionize the delivery of care.  However, doing something as simple as sharing secure, private healthcare information is hard. Everything involved in sharing the information must be securely constructed in a way that all the other systems involved understand it. To advance this goal, IHE USA has published Interoperability for Dummies; IHE Edition, a complimentary eBook as a part of the Wiley Brand For Dummies Series, which explains what Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE) is, its value, and how people can use IHE to advance interoperability.

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Interoperability Becoming Operational in Digital Dentistry

Vendors of dental systems are invited to participate in testing their systems for conformance to the new interoperability standards at the IHE Connectathon--the week of January 13, 2014, in Chicago. Annually thereafter, the American Dental Association (ADA) and Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE) will hold the Connectathon for vendors of digital dental health care information and imaging systems to test the implementation of interoperability standards.

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IHE USA Certification Testing Proves Successful at the North American Connectathon

IHE USA successfully completed the inaugural Certification Testing event held in conjunction with the recent IHE 2013 North American Connectathon in Chicago. Eight vendors participated in this first-ever pilot event, and performed testing to specified requirements for the IHE USA Certification pilot conducted by ICSA Labs, a third-party testing and certification body. As a pilot, the learnings of this inaugural event will be evaluated to clarify and improve processes going forward. Additionally, IHE USA is forming an Industry Advisory Panel, and ICSA Labs is forming a Technical Advisory Workgroup to provide guidance in evaluating the pilot program.

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ONC's S&I Framework praises IHE USA Certification Pilot

In an article entitled "Debrief on the 2013 IHE Connectathon," published in the February S&I Framework Newsletter, the new IHE USA Certification pilot receives praise as a "powerful model for the health IT industry," and for taking "another step toward advancing interoperability." Additionally, the article features information on the practical application of certification testing as well as highlights from the North American Connectathon 2013.

Read the full article!

North American Connectathon 2013 Provides Testing Ground for Meaningful Use Stage 2 Requirements

In an effort to advance interoperability in the U.S., IHE USA and the Health Story Project offered  Health Level Seven’s (HL7) Consolidated Clinical Document Architecture® (C-CDA) standard as part of the testing process at the IHE North American (NA) Connectathon 2013. When implemented into electronic health records (EHRs) and health information exchanges (HIEs), HL7’s C-CDA contributes a critical component of a patient’s medical record, including the physician’s progress notes, discharge summaries, and other clinical documents. U.S. physicians create over a billion clinical notes each year. These notes contain most of a patient’s clinical records, and most EHRs are not capable of integrating this type of data into their systems. Continue to read the full press release for more details, and visit the Consolidated CDA web page to view the full test results summary.

IHE NA Connectathon Expands to Advance Interoperability of EHRs

Significant steps were taken toward advancing the interoperability of Electronic Health Records (EHRs) at the IHE NA Connectathon and Conference 2013 which took place last week at the Hyatt Regency in Chicago, IL. IHE USA’s 14th annual interoperability testing event introduced several new features to complement the events core foundation- conformance testing of IHE profiles. This year, eight IHE domains were tested on 160+ systems among 550 of the industry’s top engineers. New features included testing of HL7’s Consolidated Clinical Document Architecture (C-CDA), a new qualification in standards and certification criteria for Meaningful Use Stage 2 in the US. IHE USA also introduced a new Certification Pilot Program with eight participating vendors. Read the full press release for details on the new testing features, outcomes, and a recap of the one-day educational conference.

IHE USA President, Joyce Sensmeier, Quoted in Healthcare IT News

In the recently published article, "Long, Winding Road for IHE," President Joyce Sensmeier explains the progress and evolution of IHE as well as where IHE is headed in the future. Also, the article features the importance of IHE Connectathons as a practical application toward interoperability.

Read the full article!

IHE USA and Health Story Advance Sharing of the Patient Story

A patient’s clinical history offers detailed and valuable health information, data not always available in an accessible format in a digital medical record. To help simplify sharing that patient story with clinical data, IHE USA and the Health Story Project will offer testing of Consolidated Clinical Document Architecture, known as Consolidated CDA, at the annual IHE North American Connectathon 2013, where health IT systems test information exchange across organizational boundaries to demonstrate the capabilities and benefits of those systems.

IHE’s North American Connectathon will include testing of the Health Story supported Consolidated CDA® during the largest health IT testing event in the United States. More details about Consolidated CDA testing at the NA Connectathon coming soon. Learn more about the NA Connectathon registration opening August 22, 2012, online.

Read full press release.

Testing Interoperability of Health IT Systems, 2013 Connectathon Set for
Jan. 28 - Feb.2

Now in its 14th year, the Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE) USA’s North American Connectathon includes a one-day conference and  the largest health IT testing event in the United States.

CHICAGO – (April 12, 2012) – Bringing engineers and IT architects together to test interoperability, the  IHE North America (NA) Connectathon 2013 comes to Chicago on Jan. 28-Feb. 2, 2013, at the Hyatt Regency Chicago, 151 E. Wacker Drive. The Connectathon continues its substantial year-to-year growth as the benefits of interoperability, where health information systems work together and share information across organizational boundaries to improve healthcare delivery, become more evident.  In January 2012, the Connectathon reached record-breaking participation, with over 120 participating organizations testing more than 150 systems advancing the health IT industry and patient safety.

As in the previous years, IHE USA will also sponsor the one-day IHE NA Connectathon Conference on Jan. 30, 2013. This event is considered the cornerstone of the Connectathon, because it provides networking and educational opportunities focused on interoperability.  Attendees gain a firsthand look at the Connectathon’s tools, systems and are granted special access to the testing floor that is accelerating healthcare technology and interact with a preeminent cadre of experts and enthusiasts. .

Scenes from the 'Lollapalooza of HIT'

IHE USA's N.A. Connectathon 2012 is featured in HealthData Management's website. James St. Clair, HIMSS director of interoperability and standards, calls the Connectathon the "Lollapalooza of HIT," where collaboration enables achievements that wouldn't occur in the labs of the individual companies.

Read the full article on the HealthData Management website.