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ONC announces winners of consumer and provider app challenges to improve health information access and use

Apps highlight the use of promising new tools and standards

Today, the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) announced the Phase 2 winners for the Consumer Health Data Aggregator Challenge and the Provider User Experience Challenge.  ONC designed these challenges to spur the development of market-ready applications (apps) that would enable consumers and providers to aggregate health data from different sources into one secure, user-friendly product.

Challenge submissions were required to use Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR®) and open application programming interfaces (APIs), which are both strongly supported by ONC. These types of modern technologies can make it easier and more efficient to retrieve and share information.

“We are thrilled to recognize new tools that make it easier for individuals and clinicians to access health information and put it to use,” said Dr. Vindell Washington, national coordinator for health information technology (IT). “These apps reflect the incredible progress that is possible as a result of the digital health infrastructure that the public and private sector have built together over the last eight years.”

Consumer Health Data Aggregator Challenge Winners

The Consumer Health Data Aggregator Challenge asked submitters to address a need that many consumers have today – the ability to easily and electronically access and securely integrate their health data from different health care providers using a variety of different health IT systems.

PatientLink Enterprises won first place and the $50,000 prize. Its solution, MyLinks, is a cloud-based application that makes it easy to gather, manage, and share patient data using several methods including FHIR® and Direct messaging, a method for sending authenticated, encrypted health information directly to known, trusted recipients over the internet. Using the app, patients can also participate in research, monitor data from remote devices, and use interactive tools.

The second place and “connector” prizes, each with an award amount of $25,000, were won byGreen Circle Health.  This application uses FHIR® to import patient data into a platform integrating a comprehensive family health dashboard that includes personal and medical device data, remote monitoring, and reminders.

In addition, the 1upHealth, which helps patients organize and share data from disparate sources, is being recognized as an Honorable Mention.

Provider User Experience Challenge Winners

The Provider User Experience Challenge focused on demonstrating how data made accessible to apps through APIs can enhance health care providers’ use of their electronic health record (EHR) systems by making clinical workflows more efficient and intuitive.

The first place prize, with an award amount of $50,000, was won by Herald Health. Its solution helps clinicians manage the overwhelming flow of alerts and information by allowing them to create highly customizable push notifications. These can be tailored to both individual patients and groups and exported to fellow users.

The second place and “connector” prizes, each with an award amount of $25,000, were won by the collaboration of University of Utah Health Care, Intermountain Healthcare, and Duke Health.Their solution is a clinical decision support tool that can provide recommendations for the treatment of babies with jaundice detected at birth based on the level of liver waste products found in their blood.

In addition, PHRASE Health, which uses clinical decision support to help clinicians align with priorities such as public health alerts, is being recognized as an Honorable Mention.

These efforts are part of a larger community-driven movement toward helping individuals and clinicians benefit from our nation’s rapidly evolving health IT infrastructure, including the adoption of ONC-certified electronic health records by nearly all U.S. hospitals and most physicians.  The efforts also align with several policy objectives outlined in the Federal Health IT Strategic Plan, the Shared Nationwide Interoperability Roadmap – PDF, the Interoperability Commitments, and ONC’s Health IT Certification Program. The availability and secure interoperable exchange of health data, and the technologies developed through these initiatives, also have the potential to support other key initiatives, such as delivery system reform, the Precision Medicine Initiative, the National Cancer Moonshot, and efforts to combat the opioid crisis.

For more information, visit the ONC’s Connecting and Accelerating a FHIR App Ecosystem page.

January 13, 2017 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 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 and LinkedIn.

AEGIS Announces Touchstone for HL7 FHIR Interoperability Testing

ROCKVILLE, Md., Nov. 12, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — AEGIS.net, Inc. (AEGIS), a leader in health information exchange standards implementation and the creator of the AEGIS Developers Integration Lab (DIL) introduces the Touchstone Project – a next generation cloud-based Testing Platform which applies Conformance and Interoperability testing in a Test-Driven-Development (TDD) integrated ecosystem.  As organizations new to the Health Level Seven® (HL7®) Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR®) specification begin to explore and evaluate this new HL7® standard and start projects with a goal of being an early adopter, AEGIS’ Touchstone Test Platform will guide those implementations towards a high degree of conformance and interoperability in a continuous model.

AEGIS unveiled the Touchstone Project joining a distinguished group of Health IT industry leaders at the HL7® International 29thAnnual Plenary & Working Group Meetings in Atlanta, GA October 5-9, 2015.  The HL7® event was kicked off with the largest ever audience for the HL7® FHIR® Connectathon in which more than 120 attendees participated.

Health Intersections Pty Ltd. Principal, Grahame Greives, often referred to as the Father of FHIR® commented: “The most recent HL7 FHIR Connectathon 10 – which coincided with HL7 Plenary event in Atlanta GA – advanced the focus around Testing and the Quality of FHIR Implementations. AEGIS was a key contributor, providing a Cloud based Solution which allowed developers to Test their FHIR Implementations. Many participants made use of this to follow Test-Driven-Development (TDD) methodology, and we appreciated how this led to more interoperable solutions.”

Orion Health’s David Hay kicked off the HL7® Connectathon by introducing the FHIR® Tracks such as Track 1 – Patient (lead by David Hay), Track 2 – Terminology Services (Robert Hausam), along with many other implementation tracks coming online.  During the HL7® FHIR® Connectathon, the AEGIS Touchstone Test Platform saw more than 17 Organizations register and test their FHIR®Implementations including Health Intersections, Furore, Mirth, Apelon, McKesson, CentriHealth and Mayo Clinic with more joining each day.

After its initial month of FHIR Testing, Touchstone has seen more than 185 unique test executions and counting.  Those organizations currently testing HL7® FHIR® against the AEGIS Touchstone Test Platform are encouraged to publish their HL7® FHIR Conformance Testing results for the public to witness.

Mario Hyland, Senior Vice President of AEGIS said: “AEGIS is proud to pilot this initiative with HL7® International and to bring its member organizations a unique benefit offering HL7®-FHIR® specific testing to ensure continuous conformance and interoperability through the AEGIS DIL, the Touchstone Project, and AEGIS’ own WildFHIR FHIR implementation, an HL7® FHIR® initiative.  AEGIS was impressed with those HL7® FHIR® Connectathon participants who elected to engage in testing with Touchstone. EHR vendors and other Health IT product vendors benefited from leveraging TDD to quickly see that testing against a common Test Platform helps to ensure HL7® FHIR® is built from the ground up being Interoperable.”

Angela Ciminnisi, Director of Product Management for Mirth noted: “Participating in the HL7® FHIR® Connectathon demonstrates our long lasting support of Healthcare initiatives which seek to deliver Interoperable solutions.  The Mirth Connect product continues to advance and the inclusion of HL7® FHIR® technologies is a natural progression of our Product and Platform.  During the HL7® FHIR® Connectathon we were pleased to participate with AEGIS and their Touchstone Test Platform.  We were able to quickly leverage a TDD methodology and during the two-day Connectathon identify a number of FHIR® conformance issues, resolve the issues and retest immediately.”

Charles Jaffe, MD PhD and CEO of HL7® stated: “Iterative testing remains at the heart of agile development. Valid conformance is critical to both the developers and to the end-user community. Iterative testing drives quality and patient safety, and supports innovation. A successful testing program also provides FHIR development teams at HL7 with the essential infrastructure that is critical for all of our stakeholders.”

HL7® and AEGIS have recognized that FHIR has the potential to address one of Gartner 2015 Top Strategic Technologies specifically “Scalable Interoperability”, with additional positive references included in Gartner Research Notes written to address the need for Robust Testing within the Healthcare Industry.

About AEGIS.net, Inc. (AEGIS)

AEGIS.net, Inc. is a CMMI Maturity Level 3 rated, ISO 9001:2008 certified small business and premier provider of industry based standards implementation, Healthcare Solutions, and Information Technology consulting services to Federal Civilian, Defense and Commercial sector clients. Our services, delivered by practitioners averaging more than 15 years of experience, include Project Management, Software Functional and Performance Testing, Application Design/Development, Independent Verification and Validation (IV&V), and Organizational Performance/Process Improvement. Our domains of expertise include health IT, standards development and interoperability, regulatory compliance, finance, human resources, and logistics. AEGIS is recognized as a global community leader in innovation of Health IT interoperability, testing, analytics, and informatics.  For more information, please visit:www.aegis.net

About HL7®

Founded in 1987, Health Level Seven International is the global authority for healthcare information interoperability and standards with affiliates established in more than 30 countries. HL7® is a non-profit, ANSI accredited standards development organization dedicated to providing a comprehensive framework and related standards for the exchange, integration, sharing, and retrieval of electronic health information that supports clinical practice and the management, delivery and evaluation of health services. HL7®‘s more than 1,500 members represent approximately 500 corporate members, which include more than 90 percent of the information systems vendors serving healthcare. HL7® collaborates with other standards developers and provider, payer, philanthropic and government agencies at the highest levels to ensure the development of comprehensive and reliable standards and successful interoperability efforts.

November 12, 2015 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 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 and LinkedIn.

Edifecs Tackles Interoperability Issues for the Healthcare Industry

BELLEVUE, Wash. – February 9, 2015Today, Edifecs, a global health information technology solutions company, unveiled the results of the company’s recent participation at FHIR Connectathon 8, one of the health IT industry’s largest standards-based interoperability testing events.  At Connectathon 8, Edifecs was the only company to present interoperability spanning electronic medical records (EMR) system and external partners, such as payer systems.

To demonstrate cross-enterprise interoperability between payers and providers, Edifecs leveraged Open EMR, Edifecs XEServer and a third-party Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resource (FHIR) server. As part of the demonstration, the Edifecs team successfully converted Continuity of Care Document (CCD) to an FHIR Patient Resource with integration to Open EMR. In the simple but important demonstration, Edifecs was able to show that investments by the industry in CDA R.2 constructs can be leveraged and made interoperable using FHIR Resources without a major re-write of interfaces and native EMR functionality.

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information (ONC), provider industry groups, and even Congress, are putting pressure on healthcare IT and EMR vendors to make data more shareable.  Interoperability and the ability to share and consolidate data across the care continuum are critical to achieving Triple Aim. The only way to achieve this interoperability at scale is by implementing industry standards. As a result, it is likely that FHIR will be included in future standards, such as Meaningful Use Stage 3 (MU3).

FHIR is gaining significant traction in the healthcare IT space with support from leaders like, John D. Halamka and Micky Tripathi.  In December 2014, Chuck Jaffe announced The Argonaut Project, an effort to accelerate FHIR.  Cerner, Epic, Meditech, athenahealth, McKesson, The Advisory Board and several provider organizations have agreed to provide funding and political backing to ensure that HL7 implementation guides for FHIR are available by May 2015.

“To carry our industry forward, we must walk hand-in-hand. By that, I mean partnerships are crucial, and at the crux of them is interoperability,” said Sunny Singh, President and CEO of Edifecs.  “The potential cost savings achieved from industry standards and better interoperability are in the billions of dollars. We are singularly focused on building the pathways to these partnerships to realize these efficiencies and help fix our healthcare system.”

Interoperability and the associated costs and complexity have hampered the ability to create and scale payer/provider partnerships and are the biggest barrier to creating accountable care organizations (ACOs).  There is a widely-held belief that payers and providers have conflicting interests and are reluctant to work together, but both groups need and want to share data to drive payment reform and deliver better and more affordable care. Edifecs is helping solve this challenge by developing cost effective ways to converge the clinical and administrative data streams in healthcare, thereby creating tangible, measurable value in support of collaborative payer/provider partnerships.

On January 30, 2015, the ONC released a shared nationwide interoperability roadmap for public comment.

The roadmap calls for better definition of standards, something that has been elusive in health IT to date. The roadmap’s goal is to provide steps to be taken in both the private and public sectors to create an interoperable health IT ecosystem over the next 10 years. One of the main focuses on the roadmap is to enable “a majority of individuals and providers across the care continuum to send, receive, find and use a common set of electronic clinical information at the nationwide level by the end of 2017.”

Edifecs is delivering the capability to exchange electronic clinical information to our customers.  We are committed to interoperability and look forward to participation in industry workgroups and events that seek to ease the difficulty of partnering to improve care.

About Edifecs

Edifecs develops innovative, cost-cutting information technology solutions to transform the global healthcare marketplace. Since 1996, Edifecs technology has helped healthcare providers, insurers, pharmacy benefit management companies and other trading partners trim waste, reduce costs and increase revenues. More than 350 healthcare customers today use Edifecs solutions to simplify and unify financial and clinical transactions. In addition, Edifecs develops supply chain management solutions to support worldwide customers in non-healthcare industry segments. Edifecs is based in Bellevue, WA, with operations internationally. Learn more about us at www.edifecs.com.

February 9, 2015 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 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 and LinkedIn.