IHE NA Connectathon Conference

Thank you for attending the IHE North American Connectathon Conference 2014 on January 29, 2014. The conference is a one day, educational and networking event built upon the IHE North American (NA) Connectathon: health IT's largest standards-based interoperability testing event that is accelerating adoption in North America and globally. Next year the Conference will be held the week of January 26-30, 2015. Save the date.

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Educational Sessions & Presentation Slide Decks


Welcome and IHE Overview
Joyce Sensmeier, MS, RN-BC, IHE USA President
Michael Nusbaum, President, IHE Canada

Strategy and Principles to Accelerate HIE and Interoperability
Dr. Doug Fridsma, Chief Science Officer & Director, ONC Office of Science & Technology

Interoperability Made Easy
Anita Samarth, Cofounder & President, Clinovations
Author, Interoperability for Dummies, IHE Edition
Connecting Across the Continuum of Care
Jason Buckner, VP of Operations, Cincinnati HealthBridge
John Kansky, Executive Director, Indiana Health Information Exchange (IHIE)

The Value of Universal Interoperability
Eric Heflin, Chief Technology Officer, Healtheway, Inc.
John Donnelly, President, IntePro Solutions, Inc.
Amit Trivedi, Program Manager, ICSA Labs

Illustrations of Community HIEs and Interoperability
Liora Alschuler, Chief Executive Officer, Lantana Consulting Group
Chuck Tryon, Chief of Knowledge and Program Management, MyHealth Access Network

IHE North American Connectathon: An Introduction & Tour
Michael Nusbaum, President, M.H. Nusbaum & Associates Ltd

Continuing Education Credits

This program is approved for up to 7.5 continuing education (CE) hours for use in fulfilling the continuing education requirements of the Certified Professional in Healthcare Information & Management Systems (CPHIMS) and the Certified Associate in Healthcare Information & Management Systems (CAHIMS). Download your verification form.


Session Descriptions

Opening Keynote: Strategy and Principles to Accelerate HIE and Interoperability

Dr. Doug Fridsma will outline the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT’s (ONC) interoperability strategy, highlighting the work being done to develop and harmonize standards, specifications and policies that support interoperable health information exchange including the collaborative initiatives underway with IHE USA.  In his role as Chief Science Officer & Director for the ONC Office of Science and Technology, Dr. Fridsma oversees several efforts to help streamline health information exchange and interoperability.  One of those initiatives, the Standards and Interoperability (S&I) Framework, seeks to support national health efforts to improve the quality of care, population health and reducing healthcare costs through widespread adoption of healthcare IT, including electronic health records (EHRs), Meaningful Use, standards, health information exchange (HIE) and interoperability and medical device integration.

Learning Objectives:

  • Discuss ONC’s interoperability strategy, progress and vision
  • Explain the work of the Standards & Interoperability Framework
  • Describe current efforts in collaboration with IHE USA and how the IHE Profiles are providing support to ONC programs
  • Identify challenges and lessons learned with patient data matching, as well as progress on a consistent nationwide strategy
  • Highlight ONC’s work in the international standards community

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Session 2: Interoperability Made Easy

In the book Interoperability For Dummies©, IHE Edition, the author, Anita Samarth, describes how electronic health records, health information exchange, and interoperability will forever change the way we give and receive healthcare.  This session will provide the background, vision, and framework necessary for implementing and achieving coordinated patient healthcare.

Learning Objectives:

  • Define key concepts and terminology used as it relates to Interoperability
  • Explain the vision and practical applications for coordinated patient care
  • Discuss current challenges with accessing health information when and where it is needed
  • Identify 10 benefits that can be achieved with interoperability of health IT systems and medical devices
  • Describe the purpose of IHE Profiles and recent success stories

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Session 3: Connecting Across the Continuum of Care

Two multi-state HIEs working together to achieve interoperability will present on challenges and lessons learned faced by implementing a multi-state Health Information Exchange, as well as the many benefits of improving patient care and safety through integrated health information exchanges across its organizations and disparate Electronic Medical Record systems. In addition, attendees will benefit from gaining insight into how they have developed a patient Personal Health Record and efforts underway to achieve a long-term sustainable business model.

Learning Objectives:

  • Explain the HIE and interoperability strategy and technical infrastructure both inside and outside of the network
  • Describe challenges faced with exchanging health information across multiple states and how those obstacles were overcome
  • Discuss how IHE Profiles have helped in achieving their data exchange initiatives
  • Identify specific examples of how information exchange and interoperability have improved patient health outcomes within their communities, including offering patients a Personal Health Record (PHR) that encompasses all their healthcare information regardless of what provider or system their data resides
  • Demonstrate one example of how to achieve a long-term, sustainable business model

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Session 4: The Value of Universal Interoperability

The vision to achieve universal interoperability has proven to be one of the most challenging Health IT initiatives to date. While many health care organizations are still striving to adopt Health IT technology and capture electronic patient data, HIEs are challenged with integrating these disparate systems, matching patient data, and providing useful information at point of care to achieve interoperability intended to improve quality of care and patient safety.  There are many national and international initiatives underway to resolve these significant challenges, such as IHE, Healtheway’s eHealth Exchange (formerly known as the NwHIN) and the EHR/HIE Interoperability Workgroup (IWG). These organizations are identifying methods to achieve interoperability through providing a common framework to implement standards such as HL7 and DICOM. 

Learning Objectives:

  • Describe each of the organizations strategies used to provide seamless interoperable healthcare across disparate systems
  • Identify real-life examples of interoperability in action and proven methods shown to improve patient care and safety and demonstrate value
  • Discuss the costs involved with widespread interoperability and how savings will be achieved long-term
  • Summarize collaborative efforts and synergies among these 3 organizations

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Session 5: Illustrations of Community HIEs and Interoperability

Today, most electronic patient records and health information exchanges operate on a small percentage of the available information.  In contrast, the HIMSS Health Story Project and the MyHealth Access Network are two illustrations dedicated to a comprehensive electronic patient health record that can be shared to improve care through collaboration and analysis.  With its start in 2008, The HIMSS Health Story Project is an alliance of healthcare vendors, providers and associations that pooled resources in a rapid-development initiative supporting the full electronic document life cycle from electronic information capture to document management, encoding, processing and analytics.  In addition, the MyHealth Access Network in Tulsa, OK, provides a fully integrated community health data exchange for providers and patients across the region.  MyHealth Access Network is also part of the ONC Beacon Community and contributed to the development of the Beacon Nation Learning Guide titled “Enabling Health Information Exchange to Support Community Goals”.

Learning Objectives

  • Discuss the evolution and past contributions of the Health Story Project and corresponding partnerships.
  • Describe how the Health Story Project will raise awareness and improve information exchange and interoperability for the purposes of coordinated patient care, payer-provider integration and population health.
  • Explain the role and impact the HIMSS Health Story Project will play in various areas, such as dictation, document management, coding, analytics and electronic health records.
  • Describe how MyHealth Access Network became a leader in community clinical data management and health information exchange, including implementation of the IHE XDS profile to exchange Continuity of Care Documents (CCDs).
  • Identify both patient and provider benefits realized from improved integration and communication within the MyHealth Access Network.
  • Explain how Beacon Nation evolved, its goals and the purpose of the Learning Guides, with specific review of lessons learned from the HIE Learning Guide.

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Session 6: IHE North American Connectathon: An Introduction and Tour

Focused on promoting and supporting the implementation of standards-based interoperability, the IHE North American (NA) Connectathon brings together developers of health IT systems and standards experts to take part in the largest interoperability testing event in the industry. At the IHE NA Connectathon, developers and experts test the interoperability of their systems and their conformance to IHE Profiles, standards-based specifications for meeting real-world healthcare needs, and other interoperable solutions. The Result: a collaborative atmosphere where barriers are identified and resolved rapidly, promoting efficiency and innovation. Explore the Connectathon testing floor and interact with 500+ of the industries finest developers during a guided tour at the end of this educational session.

Learning Objectives

  • Identify the benefits of testing at IHE’s premier interoperability testing event:  the Connectathon, and its impact on the adoption of standards-based health IT systems
  • Participate in a guided tour of the Connectathon floor, with expert commentary, to gain an understanding of the tools
  • Discuss ways that you can become more involved in IHE and the Connectathon

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