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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 5000 articles with John having written over 2000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 9.3 million times. John also recently launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus.

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 5000 articles with John having written over 2000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 9.3 million times. John also recently launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus.

Adoption of HL7 CDA to Connect Clinical Trial Data, EHRs: Technology to Support Patient Care, Speed Process from “Bench to Bedside” – #HIMSS12

LAS VEGAS, USA – Feb. 21, 2012 – Health Level Seven® International (HL7®) announced today a collaborative effort with the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to use HL7 Clinical Document Architecture (CDA®) in a unique way that solves the problem of connecting clinical trial data to patients’ electronic health records (EHRS). The new collaboration was announced at the 2012 HIMSS Annual Conference and Exhibition, ranked as one of the largest health information technology conferences in the United States.

“This is a significant advance in HIT connectivity because it brings clinical trial data directly to patients’ personal physicians, which means we can improve patient care by speeding the process of moving medical advances from bench to bedside,” said Robert Dolin, MD FACP, vice chair of the HL7 Board of Directors and co-editor of the CDA.  “Studies have shown that right now it can take seven years or more for new research advances to be put into clinical practice.  We can make that process much quicker by improving physician access to clinical trial data, and by expressing clinical trial data using meaningful use EHR standards.”

The new project demonstrates that clinical trial data can be packaged using the same HL7 standards that are incorporated into EHRs that meet the Stage 1 meaningful use criteria of the U.S. Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) to bring clinical trial data directly to the point of care and facilitate data analysis. Physicians will have a more complete picture of the care provided to their patients during clinical trials, and the project will also help facilitate data analysis that may speed the availability of new treatments to patients.

According to John Speakman, chief program officer for the NCI’s Center for Biomedical Informatics and Information Technology, the program will lower the barriers for systems to interoperate in the service of biomedical research and, ultimately, precision medicine.  To reach these goals, the use of HHS-endorsed industry standards such as HL7 CDA must be part of the picture, he said.

The HL7 CDA addresses universal requirements for the exchange and management of structured clinical documents.  It supports the exchange of clinical documents between those involved in the care of patients and allows for the re-use of clinical data for public health reporting, quality monitoring, patient safety and clinical trials.

The program, which will be launched as a pilot program later this year, was developed with the assistance of Ekagra Software Technologies and Lantana Consulting Group.

About Health Level Seven (HL7) International

Founded in 1987, Health Level Seven International (www.HL7.org) 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 2,300 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.

February 22, 2012 I Written By

Demonstration at HIMSS12 Offers First Glimpse at Results of Industry Collaboration to Capture the Full Patient Story – #HIMSS12

                  

Details of the relevance of the demonstration will be provided during a press briefing at the 2012 Annual HIMSS Conference & Exhibition.

HIMSS12 – Las Vegas – Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2012

WHAT:  Approximately 1.2 billion clinical documents are produced in the U.S. each year.  This tremendous source of clinical information is underutilized in current computer-based record systems.  ONC’s Office of Standards and Interoperability (S&I) recently hosted a volunteer effort through Health Level Seven (HL7) International and Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE) USA to establish a national foundation for exchange of information collected in clinical documents.  The project produced a consolidated, cohesive set of structured clinical document templates using the HL7 Clinical Document Architecture standard and IHE integration profiles that are now available for industry adoption.  Use of the templates offers a huge step forward for health information interoperability in the U.S.  The Health Story Project will demonstrate use of the templates for the first time at the HIMSS12 Interoperability Showcase with a use case provided by the American College of Physicians.

WHO:  Press briefing panelists include:

• Doug Fridsma, MD, Director, ONC, Office of Standards & Interoperability
• Bob Dolin, MD, Representing the Health Story Project
• Charles Jaffe, MD, CEO, Health Level Seven (HL7) International
• Carol Greenlee, MD, Representing the American College of Physicians
• John Donnelly, Representing Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE USA)
• Bill Beighe, CIO, Physicians Medical Group of Santa Cruz

WHEN: Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2012, 1-2 p.m. Pacific; Briefing begins at 1:10 p.m.

WHERE: HIMSS12, Las Vegas, Venetian Sands Expo Center, Bassano 2805, 2nd level

CLOSED INVITATION/RSVP: Joy Kuhl, joy@optimalaccords.com or (818) 817-1050

An audio media press bridge will be provided.  Please bring an XLR Cable if you would like to record direct from the audio feed.

February 16, 2012 I Written By