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

CHICAGO (June 12, 2013) – 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 in the Wiley For Dummies format, which explains what Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE) is, its value, and how people can use IHE to advance interoperability.

The eBook, written by Anita Samarth, in collaboration with IHE USA, provides an introduction to the integration and interoperability of health data, the origins of IHE, and an overview of IHE’s standards-based profiles which are used by communities for exchanging health information

Interoperability for Dummies – IHE Edition, will help readers to not only understand the value and critical nature of standards-based interoperable health IT systems and IHE’s role, but how to personally become part of the solution by implementing change in their organization.” says Joyce Sensmeier, RN-BC, MS, CPHIMS, FHIMSS, FAAN, president, IHE USA.

Readers of the eBook will learn how IHE improves patient care by providing a common standards-based framework for seamlessly exchanging health information among care providers at a local, regional, or national level. More than 160 health IT vendors and health information exchanges have implemented systems worldwide based on IHE.

The eBook discusses:

  • How IHE can help organizations meet interoperability goals;
  • The current state of document exchange, different scenarios for exchanging information, and how IHE is improving the process; and
  • Opportunities IHE offers for stakeholders and clinicians to work together to advance health information exchange.
  • An introduction to the IHE USA Certification Program.

The eBook is available for complimentary download on the IHE USA website, beginning June 26.

About the Author                                                                                                                                                                            

Anita Samarth is co-founder and president of Clinovations. She has extensive experience with EHRs, HIE, and interoperability. She was also a co-author of “Electronic Health Records for Dummies.”

About IHE USA
IHE USA (www.iheusa.org) is a not-for-profit organization established in 2010 that operates as a deployment committee of IHE International®. The mission of IHE USA is to drive adoption of standards-based interoperability to improve patient care through innovation, standards profiling, testing, education and collaboration. IHE USA improves the efficiency and effectiveness of healthcare delivery by supporting the deployment of standards-based electronic health record systems, facilitating the exchange of health information among care providers, both within the enterprise and across care settings, and enabling local, regional and national health information networks in the United States, all in a manner consistent with participation in the activities of IHE International, Inc

June 14, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 13 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit.

IHE North American Connectathon and Conference 2013 Introduces New Features to Advance Health Information Exchange

CHICAGO – (February 6, 2013) – A significant new step was taken toward the interoperability of Electronic Health Records (EHRs) with the introduction of a pilot Certification Program at the IHE North American (NA) Connectathon and Conference, which concluded last week. The Connectathon testing event drew over 500 of the industry’s top engineers, while the one- day educational conference attracted well over 125 participants.

A new IHE USA Pilot Certification program was introduced during the IHE NA Connectathon 2013, which concluded last week. Also featured was testing for eight IHE International Domains and Health Level 7’s Consolidated CDA.

“The overwhelming majority of attendees at the IHE NA Connectathon Conference 2013 were first time attendees. This demonstrates the importance of interoperability and the essential role of IHE in enabling the meaningful use of health information technology. Connecting key stakeholders with the tools and resources they need to achieve interoperable systems is essential for enabling quality care,” noted Joyce Sensmeier, RN-BC, MS, CPHIMS, FHIMSS, FAAN, President, IHE USA.

IHE USA partnered with ICSA Labs to launch a new IHE Certification Program for health IT systems.. Using an accredited, standards-based certification program, IHE USA will be able to certify that systems are, in fact, interoperable against established criteria.

“The IHE USA Certification Pilot Program, implemented in partnership with ICSA Labs, was a resounding success. A dozen vendors participated in this inaugural effort that complements existing testing of IHE integration profiles at the Connectathon. This accredited, standards-based Certification program will greatly enhance the value of IHE Integration profiles in products that are available in the marketplace.” says Ms. Sensmeier. “We look forward to leveraging feedback from the pilot to augment future efforts that demonstrate IHE’s role in advancing interoperable standards-based systems,” she added.

Eight of the participants at the Connectathon were registered for certification testing on over 70 profiles. Results are being evaluated by the ICSA Labs Certification Body, which will grant certification based on requirements set forth by IHE USA, and the general principles covered by ISO/IEC Guide 65 for organizations providing product certification. Certification also will include industry-standard system surveillance activities that ensure that certified products continue to perform as tested, over time.

Certified products will be published by IHE USA, as well as in the official ICSA Labs product directory. Three tiers of Certification will be awarded:
• Tier 1: Conformance to IHE profiles
• Tier 2: Demonstrated interoperability amongst disparate systems
• Tier 3: Validated Implementations of deployed certified technology

“The Certification Program will benefit the purchasers and end users of the products that have proven IHE capabilities,” noted Amit Trivedi, Program Manager, ICSA Labs.

This year, in addition to the Certification Program, another new feature was added to the IHE NA Connectathon: testing of HL7’s Consolidated CDA standard.

The HL7 Clinical Document Architecture (CDA) is a document markup standard that specifies the structure and semantics of “clinical documents” for the purpose of exchange. For testing at the Connectathon, the HL7 Consolidated CDA (C-CDA) offered a combined library of CDA templates and common document types, from progress notes to discharge summaries and more. C- CDA is now stipulated in Standards and Certification Criteria of Meaningful Use Stage 2.

“Over two dozen vendors signed up to test 27 systems for C-CDA – including a diverse group of EMR, document imaging and HIE vendors.  After knocking on the virtual doors of EMR and HIE vendors for years encouraging acceptance of CDA document types, I have to say that the Health Story members are thrilled about the potential uptake of C-CDA and its role in contributing to comprehensive electronic patient stories,” said Joy Kuhl, Executive Director of the Health Story Project.

Over 500 of the industry’s top engineers attended the largest interoperability testing event in the U.S. The Connectathon, which is the health IT industry’s only large-scale face-to-face testing event had over 100 vendors and 160 test systems, demonstrating powerful advancements in health IT. Approximately 70,000 sq. feet of the Hyatt Regency basement was occupied for the testing. There were attendees from 11 countries—including Austria, Brazil, China, France, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, and Syria.

Introduced in 1999, the IHE Connectathon has been an annual event with continued growth in the level and scope of participation. A parallel event in Europe was established in 2001 and has followed a similar trajectory.

IHE Connectathons are professionally managed and independently monitored testing events. A technical project management team develops detailed test plans for each role being tested at the Connectathon and organizes the process to maximize interoperability testing between corresponding systems from different vendors. Independent monitors observe and record test results, which are published in the Connectathon results database.

About IHE USA
IHE USA (www.iheusa.org) is a not-for-profit organization established in 2010 that operates as a deployment committee of IHE International®. The mission of IHE USA is to drive adoption of standards-based interoperability to improve patient care through innovation, standards profiling, testing, education and collaboration. IHE USA improves the efficiency and effectiveness of healthcare delivery by supporting the deployment of standards-based electronic health record systems, facilitating the exchange of health information among care providers, both within the enterprise and across care settings, and enabling local, regional and national health information networks in the United States, all in a manner consistent with participation in the activities of IHE International, Inc.

About IHE International
IHE International, Inc. (www.ihe.net) is the global hub of the IHE initiative, a multi-stakeholder effort started in 1997 to promote the effective use of electronic health records and health information technology (HIT) by driving the adoption of standards-based solutions for interoperability. IHE International brings together HIT experts and stakeholders in more than a dozen clinical and operational domains to develop implementation guides called IHE Profiles that define the use of standards to address specific HIT interoperability needs. It also oversees a process of testing that fosters the adoption of IHE Profiles in real-world HIT products and care settings. IHE interoperability solutions are implemented in hundreds of products and in care sites around the world.

February 11, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 13 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit.

IHE North American Connectathon and Conference 2013 Brings New Features to the Testing Floor

CHICAGO – (January 24, 2013) – The IHE North American (NA) Connectathon and Conference has been deemed the “Lollapalooza of the Health IT” world. Each year, 500 of the industry’s top engineers gather in Chicago for the largest interoperability testing event in the U.S. The Connectathon, which is the health IT industry’s only large-scale face-to-face testing event, will take place Jan. 28-Feb. 2, at the Hyatt Regency Chicago at 151 E. Wacker Drive.

The interoperability testing event boasts 100 vendors and 160 test systems, demonstrating powerful advancements in health IT. Vendor testing registration is closed, but attendees can still register for the IHE NA Connectathon Conference 2013 and obtain a sneak peak of the testing floor on Wednesday, Jan. 30.

Visit the HIMSS Blog to hear what participants have to say about the Connectathon and Conference.  

The IHE NA Connectathon Conference, a one day educational event, on Jan.30, provides industry professionals with continuing education and networking opportunities. Educational sessions will focus on how technology and IHE are enabling the achievement and sustainability of meaningful use in health IT. View the full agenda and list of education sessions. Additionally, a backstage pass and access to the Connectathon testing floor for a private tour is available to attendees; the testing floor is otherwise closed to the public. Tours will include an insider’s view of the testing environment, infrastructure, tools, and new testing services.

This year, three new features have been added to the lineup, including testing of HL7’s Consolidated CDA, IHE USA’s new Pilot Certification program in partnership with ICSA Labs, plus the first mHealth Hack-A-Thon.

IHE is organized by clinical and operational domains with eight IHE International Domainsavailable for testing at the event. In each domain, users with clinical and operational experience identify integration and information sharing priorities and vendors of relevant information systems develop consensus, standards-based solutions to address them.

The HL7 Clinical Document Architecture (CDA) is a document markup standard that specifies the structure and semantics of “clinical documents” for the purpose of exchange. Now, for testing at the Connectathon, the HL7 Consolidated CDA (C-CDA) offers a combined library of CDA templates and common document types, from progress notes to discharge summaries and more. C- CDA is now stipulated in Standards and Certification Criteria of Meaningful Use Stage 2. This national recognition positions C-CDA, for widespread adoption within EHR systems, thus advancing interoperability leading to information exchange, with a specific focus on care coordination.

Introduced in 1999, the IHE Connectathon has continued as an annual event with continued growth in the level and scope of participation. A parallel event in Europe was established in 2001 and has followed a similar trajectory. The next IHE Europe Connectathon will be held April 15-19, in Istanbul, Turkey. Connectathons have also been held in Australia, China, Japan and Korea.

IHE Connectathons are professionally managed and independently monitored testing events. A technical project management team develops detailed test plans for each role being tested at the Connectathon and organizes the process to maximize interoperability testing between corresponding systems from different vendors. Independent monitors observe and record test results, which are published in the Connectathon results database.

“IHE USA and ICSA Labs share the goal of accelerating the adoption of usable, secure, and interoperable health information technology to further the goal of improving patient safety and delivering higher quality of care. To that end, these organizations have formed a collaborative partnership to advance the state of the industry through the IHE USA Certification Pilot Program,” says Joyce Sensmeier, RN-BC, MS, CPHIMS, FHIMSS, FAAN, Vice President, Informatics, HIMSS. “This new program will be held in conjunction with the Connectathon, whose primary purpose is to address specific health IT interoperability issues. By testing the interoperability of their health IT systems, participants are able to improve the acquisition, management and communication of vital health information, while supporting efficient provider workflows and protecting private health information.”

Learn more about IHE North American Connectathon or the one-day educational conference by visiting IHE USA’s website (www.iheusa.org). . Registration is open online, or can be purchased on-site.

 

About IHE USA
IHE USA (www.iheusa.org) is a not-for-profit organization established in 2010 that operates as a deployment committee of IHE International®. The mission of IHE USA is to drive adoption of standards-based interoperability to improve patient care through innovation, standards profiling, testing, education and collaboration. IHE USA improves the efficiency and effectiveness of healthcare delivery by supporting the deployment of standards-based electronic health record systems, facilitating the exchange of health information among care providers, both within the enterprise and across care settings, and enabling local, regional and nationwide health information networks in the United States, all in a manner consistent with participation in the activities of IHE International, Inc.

About IHE International
(www.ihe.net) is the global hub of the IHE initiative, a multi-stakeholder effort started in 1997 to promote the effective use of electronic health records and health information technology (HIT) by driving the adoption of standards-based solutions for interoperability. IHE International brings together HIT experts and stakeholders in more than a dozen clinical and operational domains to develop implementation guides call IHE Profiles that define the use of standards to address specific HIT interoperability needs. It also oversees a process of testing that fosters the adoption of IHE Profiles in real-world HIT products and care settings. IHE interoperability solutions are implemented in hundreds of products and in care sites around the world.

February 7, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 13 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit.