Innovations in Interoperability: Connectathon 2019 Conference

Innovations in Interoperability
January 23, 
2019 in Cleveland, Ohio

Achieving interoperability of health information within and among healthcare organizations requires dedicated focus not only on the people and the processes but also on the organization’s vision, strategy, and business model capabilities. Achieving better health for the population, better care for the individual and lower costs through improvement requires vision, innovation, passion, technical expertise and determination.  

Join IHE USA and HIMSS for a highly interactive conference comprised of educational sessions, demonstrations, hands-on workshop and an exclusive tour of the IHE North American Connectathon testing floor and HIMSS Innovation and Conference Center. Registration is now open with limited seats - reserve yours today!

Register Today!

Event Details:

When: Wednesday, January 23, 2019 at 8:30am - 6:00pm ET
Where: HIMSS Innovation Center and the Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland in Cleveland, Ohio
Cost: $100

Event Overview:

Advancements in health information exchange and the characteristics of interoperability are being shaped through a variety of organizations and initiatives. The IHE North American Connectathon Conference 2019 will begin with a keynote presentation describing the national vision for achieving interoperability presented by a leader in the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT. The human side of interoperability will be explored with a focus on PULSE – a patient lookup service leveraging IHE and HL7 FHIR® used to access health records during recent disasters. An interactive hands-on introduction to HL7 FHIR will feature the Michigan Health Information Network (MiHIN) Ring of FHIR® platform, teaching attendees how to use and constrain FHIR resources to query data for quality measurement and public health information. The latest innovations in standards-based interoperability will also be featured in a presentation of Project Gemini – a collaboration between HL7 and IHE to advance the adoption of interoperable solutions. The day will conclude with an exclusive tour of the IHE North American Connectathon testing floor where attendees will be able to see over 60 organizations, 80 systems and 450+ engineers testing interoperability of their health IT systems – live! The tour is followed by a networking reception.

Program Learning Objectives:

  1. Identify how the national vision for interoperability is improving the exchange of data and leading to advances in interoperability.
  2. Describe how innovative programs such as PULSE and the MIHIN Rings of FHIR platform are driving national-level health data sharing capabilities.
  3. Highlight successfully implemented programs leveraging FHIR and IHE to achieve true, interoperable healthcare.
  4. Discuss next steps for your organization’s journey to improved coordination of care.



Registration, Check-in, Coffee


9:00am – 10:00am

Welcome Remarks & Opening Session: Realizing the National Vision and Roadmap for Interoperability

This opening keynote presentation will describe the national vision for achieving interoperability. Building and sustaining an interoperable healthcare strategy requires leadership and continuous transformational change in the culture, the mindset, the regulatory environment, and organizational commitment to achieving success.

Learning Objectives:

  • Summarize the national roadmap and key initiatives to for achieving interoperability
  • Identify key takeaways for organizations developing strategic roadmaps for deploying interoperable systems.

Welcome & Overview: Joyce Sensmeier, MS, RN-BC, CPHIMS, FHIMSS, FAAN, IHE USA President

Keynote presentation: Steven Posnack, MS, MIS, Executive Director, Office of Technology, ONC (invited)

10:00 – 10:30am



10:30 – 11:30am

The Human Side of Innovation

Mr. Heflin will provide an overview and demonstration of the Patient Unified Lookup System for Emergencies - PULSE, a program of The Sequoia Project, a 501(c)3 non-profit supporting health IT interoperability implementation initiatives. Learn how PULSE is enabling national-level health data sharing capabilities that impact your local communities. 

Learning Objectives:

  1. Describe how PULSE supports data access during nationwide disaster response.
  2. Explain how PULSE will benefit patients during emergencies.
  3. Recognize how data sharing capabilities will impact local communities.
  4. Identify the importance of IHE and FHIR to enable seamless nation-wide interoperability. 

Eric Heflin, CTO/CIO, the Sequoia Project

11:30 – 12:15pm

Networking & Boxed Lunch


12:15pm – 1:45pm

Hands-on Introduction to FHIR – A FHIR PIT Party

This hands-on session is an opportunity for attendees to learn, develop and test Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR®) solutions in a safe, secure environment utilizing Michigan’s FHIR Pilot Interoperability Testbed (the FHIR-PIT).  During the session, you will learn core FHIR basics; FHIR architecture and server standards; FHIR resources, components and bundles; FHIR servers and APIs; and how to leverage FHIR to find just the information needed from a set of health information.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Demonstrate use of the “Ring of FHIR” network of servers to learn and practice using FHIR for interoperable software applications
  2. Showcase how applications can be created that leverage the power of FHIR via the robust platform populated with synthetic health information

Wendy Couturier, MPH, FHIR Product Manager, Michigan Health Information Network Shared Services

1:45 – 2:00pm



2:30 – 3:15pm

Innovation in Interoperability: Paving a Common Path to Interoperability through HL7 FHIR and IHE

These presenters are leading international efforts to develop and implement standards to achieve interoperability. This session will describe the power of aligning efforts and applying innovative approaches to more rapidly accelerate the adoption of interoperable solutions.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Describe how HL7 and IHE are collaborating for interoperability.
  2. Understand the goals of the Project Gemini Initiative
  3. Identify the importance of standards, FHIR resources and IHE profiles to achieving interoperability

Chris Carr, Director, Informatics, RSNA, IHE International Secretary

Wayne Kubick, CTO, HL7

3:15 – 3:30pm

Introduction to the IHE North American Connectathon

Amit Trivedi, Director, Informatics, HIT Standards, HIMSS

3:30pm – 4:30pm

Tour of IHE North American Connectathon Testing floor 

Huntington Convention Center

4:30 – 6:00pm

Networking Reception

Meet and network with other health IT leaders, software developers, implementers, and experts responsible for interoperability in your field.

HIMSS Innovation & Conference Center


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