Innovations in Interoperability: Connectathon 2019 Conference

Innovations in Interoperability - Connectathon 2019 Conference

Thie dynamic special event was held in the HIMSS Innovation Center on Wednesday, January 23, 2019 during the IHE NA Connectathon, and focused on the many ways Health IT and Interoperability Standards are making way for a better, more connected world. 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.  

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.


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

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

This opening keynote presentation described 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.

View slides.

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.


The Human Side of Innovation

Eric Heflin, CTO/CIO, the Sequoia Project

Mr. Heflin provided 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. 

View slides.

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. 


Hands-on Introduction to FHIR – A FHIR PIT Party

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

This hands-on session provided 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, participants learned 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.

View slides.

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


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

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

Wayne Kubick, CTO, HL7

Presenters Wayne Kubick and Chris Carr are leading international efforts to develop and implement standards to achieve interoperability. This session described the power of aligning the efforts if HL7 and IHE International applied innovative approaches to more rapidly accelerate the adoption of interoperable solutions.

View slides - Wayne Kubick Presentation.

View slides - Chris Carr Presentation.

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


Introduction to the IHE North American Connectathon and an Update from IHE

Amit Trivedi, Director, Informatics, HIT Standards, HIMSS

John Moehrke, IHE ITI Planning Co-Chair, and Standards Architect, By Light Professional IT Services

Amit Trivedi provided a brief overview of the IHE NA Connectathon before John Moehrke presented news from the IHE Technical Committees, including the latest updates to IHE on FHIR. Following this presentation, participants were treated to a tour of the Connectathon Testing Floor, gaining an inside look at the Interoperability Magic that makes the IHE NA Connectathon so great!

View slides.



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