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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 14 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John 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.

BridgeHead XDS-I.b Technology Passes Testing at 2013 IHE Connectathon

The Largest Health IT Testing Event in the U.S. Showcased BridgeHead Software’s DICOMStore™ Interoperability

Woburn, MA – February 27, 2013 – BridgeHead Software announced today it has successfully completed the IHE North American (NA) Connectathon 2013, held in Chicago, Illinois. The Connectathon is an annual event that demonstrates the benefits of interoperability, where health information systems (HIS) work together to share information across organizational boundaries. The testing showcased the abilities of BridgeHead’s Vendor Neutral Archive (VNA) DICOMStore™ to successfully integrate with other leading healthcare information systems, and the solution now qualifies as a full XDS-I.b Imaging Document Source.

The 14th annual IHE NA Connectathon drew hundreds of the industry’s top engineers with 8 IHE domains tested on over 160 systems. New features included testing of HL7’s Consolidated Clinical Document Architecture® (C-CDA) and a new qualification in standards and certification criteria for Meaningful Use Stage 2 in the U.S.

“Healthcare IT integration companies such as BridgeHead Software help make the Connectathon a success,” said Joyce Sensmeier, president of IHE USA. “This year, 500 systems engineers from 101 companies engaged in testing at the event. Collectively, we are driving the industry forward and improving quality care with interoperable systems.”

BridgeHead’s DICOMStore™ Imaging Document Source was tested for its capacity to readily share and exchange image files with other vendors’ repositories. By testing both its understanding of IHE frameworks and implementation methods, BridgeHead proved DICOMStore™ could seamlessly interface with different XDS repositories, ensuring enterprise-wide interoperability across a hospital’s IT environment.

BridgeHead’s DICOMStore™ is part of its Healthcare Data Management (HDM) Solution. HDM is designed to enable healthcare facilities worldwide to store, protect and share both clinical and administrative information across the entire hospital, along with the capabilities necessary to tame the continuing growth and complexity of data. It is also the only software that combines protection together with DICOM and non-DICOM archiving, ensuring image availability for healthcare professionals.

“At BridgeHead, we recognize that interoperability is critical for any hospital system looking to ensure the accessibility of patient information is preserved. It is also essential for giving our customers the utmost confidence in the BridgeHead solution’s ability to evolve in today’s rapidly changing healthcare landscape,” said Jamie Clifton, director of product management at BridgeHead. “By participating in the NA Connectathon 2013, we have once again exhibited how readily the BridgeHead HDM Solution can interface with a variety of health information systems.”

In 2012, BridgeHead’s XDS.b Repository and ancillary systems were tested at the IHE European Connectathon alongside 24 other healthcare IT systems to demonstrate enterprise-wide healthcare collaboration potential and achieved similar success.

INFORMATION FOR MEDIA ATTENDING HIMSS13

BridgeHead Software is exhibiting at the HIMSS13 Conference in booth 1769, taking place from March 3rd through March 7th at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, LA. Visit our HIMSS13 Knowledge Center site to get the latest information on how to bridge the gap between what clinicians want and what health IT professionals need for hospital data availability.

February 28, 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 14 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John 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 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 14 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John 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 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 14 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John 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 USA and Health Story Advance Sharing of the Patient Story

Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE) North American Connectathon will include testing of the Health Story supported Consolidated CDA® during the largest health IT testing event in the United States.

CHICAGO – (July 25, 2012) – A patient’s clinical history offers detailed and valuable health information, data not always available in an accessible format in a digital medical record. To help simplify sharing that patient story with clinical data, IHE USA and the Health Story Project will offer testing of Consolidated Clinical Document Architecture, known as Consolidated CDA, at the annual IHE North American Connectathon 2013, where health IT systems test information exchange across organizational boundaries to demonstrate the capabilities and benefits of those systems.

The Health Story Project and IHE have collaborated closely since the project’s inception in 2008. This alliance leverages IHE integration profiles and the Consolidated CDA standard from Health Level Seven International (HL7) to offer a clear communication path and common language for health IT standards.

As the adoption of interoperable health IT systems continues to grow under the mandate of the HITECH Act, the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) recently referenced use of Consolidated CDA as a proposed requirement for Stage 2 meaningful use of EHR systems. The potential ruling has accelerated efforts toward adoption of Consolidated CDA and the resulting need for testing to validate CDA content with IHE integration profiles at the IHE Connectathon.

The Connectathon offers a timely and efficient testing option, since the 2013 event will be held in Chicago from Jan. 28 – Feb. 2, 2013, at the Hyatt Regency Chicago, 151 E. Wacker Drive. In January 2012, the IHE North American Connectathon reached record-breaking participation, with over 120 participating organizations testing more than 150 systems advancing the health IT industry and patient safety.

“We produce over a billion clinical documents in the U.S. each year—it’s a tremendous source of clinical information that is underutilized in current computer-based record systems,” said Joy Kuhl, executive director, Health Story Project.  “Having information from clinical documents available in a CDA-structured format will make it easier for providers to participate in quality reporting, improvement, research and other activities.”

“Offering Consolidated CDA testing with Health Story at the 2013 Connectathon will help vendors prepare for upcoming meaningful use Stage 2 and certification testing,” said Joyce Sensmeier, president, IHE USA.  “We are pleased to collaborate with Health Story to bring this testing opportunity to the industry.”

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 IHE International, Inc.

About Health Story

The Health Story Project was founded four years ago by the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI), the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), the Clinical Documentation Industry Association, Lantana Consulting Group, and M*Modal. It is now a collaborative of over two dozen healthcare vendors, providers and associations. Health Story accelerates development of HL7 Clinical Document Architecture (CDA) Implementation Guides for common types of clinical documents, brings them through the HL7 ballot process and promotes their adoption within the industry. Over the previous four years, the initiative produced the first set of national data standards for clinical documents – use of which supports requirements for Meaningful Use of EHRs. Health Story Promoter members include Fujitsu, Inofile, Lantana Consulting Group, M*Modal, Nuance, Optum and Verizon.  The Health Story vision is for complete patient stories to be available in electronic medical records.

August 15, 2012 I Written By

HIMSS Honors Three Clinicians with 2011 IT Leadership Awards

HIMSS announces the recipients of its clinician IT leadership awards: Carol Bickford, PhD, RN-BC, CPHIMS, and Kathleen Smith,  MScEd, RN-BC, FHIMSS, with the HIMSS Nursing Informatics Leadership Award and Russell Leftwich, MD, FAAAAI, FCCP,  with the HIMSS Physician IT Leadership Award.

They will receive their awards during the2012 Annual HIMSS Conference & Exhibition  Awards and Recognition Banquet on Thursday, Feb. 23, 6:30 to 9 p.m., at the Bellagio Hotel, Las Vegas, Nev. Held in conjunction with HIMSS12, the banquet honors the 2011 Award Recipients for their significant contributions to the Society, their organizations and the health IT profession.

2011 Nursing Informatics Leadership Award: Carol Bickford, PhD, RN-BC, CPHIMS and Kathleen Smith, MScEd,  RN-BC, FHIMSS
Dr. Bickford and Ms. Smith merit significant accolades for their outstanding, long-term commitment to develop, and tireless efforts to sustain, the innovative Weekend Immersion in Nursing Informatics continuing education program over the last 16 years. They also have promoted HIMSS as a valuable resource and professional membership organization for nurses. Both have worked consistently at the organizational, local, state, and national levels to ensure that nursing, nursing informatics, and health care consumer perspectives are recognized and incorporated into practice, policy, and regulatory decisions, as well as into systems design, implementation, and evaluation activities.

“HIMSS congratulates Carol Bickford and Kathleen Smith on receiving the 2011 HIMSS Nursing Informatics Leadership Award,” said Joyce Sensmeier, MS, RN-BC, MS, CPHIMS, FHIMSS, FAAN, Vice President of Informatics for HIMSS.  “The accomplishments and examples set by Carol and Kathleen demonstrate the important role that nurses play as leaders in advancing the best use of health IT to improve health outcomes.”

2011 HIMSS Physician IT Leadership Award: Russell Leftwich, MD, FAAAAI, FCCP
Dr. Leftwich is an active member of HIMSS, participating in the Management Engineering and Process Improvement (ME-PI) Community, Physician Community, and serves on the board of the HIMSS Tennessee Chapter. In addition, Dr. Leftwich was appointed by HIMSS to the Physician Leadership Committee and began a two-year term in July. Additionally, Dr. Leftwich is active on a sub-group that reaches out to other physician professional organizations facilitating collaboration on promoting health IT adoption. He is the author of the EHR Adoption Chapter of American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Practice Management Manual, chairs the statewide HIE Clinical Workgroup, and participates in the eHealth taskforce for the Tennessee Medical Association.

“The contributions of Dr. Russell Leftwich have helped move forward the adoption of health IT,” said Patricia Wise, RN, MS, MA, FHIMSS, COL, USA ret’d., HIMSS Vice President, Healthcare Information Systems, and staff liaison to the HIMSS physician community. “The HIMSS staff congratulate Dr. Leftwich on receiving this very well deserved award. ”

HIMSS12 Awards and Recognition Banquet:  Individual tickets to the awards banquet are available for $125 and tickets for tables of 10 are available for $1,250. For more information on HIMSS12, visit the conference website. To purchase tickets for the HIMSS12 Awards and Recognition Banquet, visit the conference registration page.

About HIMSS

HIMSS is a cause-based, not-for-profit organization exclusively focused on providing global leadership for the optimal use of information technology (IT) and management systems for the betterment of healthcare. Founded 51 years ago, HIMSS and its related organizations are headquartered in Chicago with additional offices in the United States, Europe and Asia. HIMSS represents more than 44,000 individual members, of which more than two thirds work in healthcare provider, governmental and not-for-profit organizations. HIMSS also includes over 570 corporate members and more than 170 not-for-profit organizations that share our mission of transforming healthcare through the effective use of information technology and management systems. HIMSS frames and leads healthcare practices and public policy through its content expertise, professional development, research initiatives, and media vehicles designed to promote information and management systems’ contributions to improving the quality, safety, access, and cost-effectiveness of patient care. To learn more about HIMSS and to find out how to join us and our members in advancing our cause, please visit our website at www.himss.org.

February 8, 2012 I Written By

Transforming Nursing Practice Through Technology & Informatics

Nurses are key leaders in developing the infrastructure for effective and efficient health information technology that transforms the delivery of care. Recognizing this vital leadership role of nurses in providing quality patient care, the HIMSS Board of Directors approved a position statement describing how to transform nursing practice through technology and informatics.  Leaders from the HIMSS Nursing Informatics Community, representing over 2,900 members who not only serve the nursing profession, but also, the broader healthcare industry and HIMSS membership at large, developed the position statement.

The HIMSS Board of Directors approved this position statement describing how to transform nursing practice through technology and informatics

Nurses are key leaders in developing the infrastructure for effective and efficient health information technology that transforms the delivery of care. Recognizing this vital leadership role of nurses in providing quality patient care, the HIMSS Board of Directors approved a position statement describing how to transform nursing practice through technology and informatics.  Leaders from the HIMSS Nursing Informatics Community, representing over 2,900 members who not only serve the nursing profession, but also, the broader healthcare industry and HIMSS membership at large, developed the position statement.

The position statement supports the landmark report from the Institute of Medicine and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health Report. The report provides criteria to transform the nursing profession, leading to new roles and leadership positions for nurses in the redesign of the healthcare system.

As stated in the report, “The United States has the opportunity to transform its healthcare system, and nurses can and should play a fundamental role in this transformation. However, the power to improve the current regulatory, business, and organizational conditions does not rest solely with nurses; academia, government, businesses, healthcare organizations, professional associations, consumers and the insurance industry all must play a role.”

HIMSS concurs with this statement and has outlined specific actions in its position statement for each of these constituencies. In addition, as noted in the position statement, a new type of nurse leader role is emerging: “the Nursing Informatics Executive.”

HIMSS expects a growing demand for this strategic and operational role to permeate the majority of healthcare organizations to support not only nursing practice, but the entire care delivery team in anticipating and adapting to changes in the healthcare environment. Emerging nursing informatics leadership roles are critical to engage in the necessary transformational activities and bridge the new care delivery models into clinical practice with the right technology solutions…(from the position statement)

“Nurses are an integral part of successfully achieving improved outcomes, optimal wellness and overall population health management,’” says Joyce Sensmeier RN-BC, MS, CPHIMS, FHIMSS, FAAN, Vice President, Informatics, HIMSS. “Involved in all aspects of healthcare, nurses play a role that truly puts them in a pivotal and important position where they can both influence healthcare reform and manage patient care needs across the continuum of care.”

About HIMSS
HIMSS is a cause-based, not-for-profit organization exclusively focused on providing global leadership for the optimal use of information technology (IT) and management systems for the betterment of healthcare. Founded 50 years ago, HIMSS and its related organizations have offices in Chicago, Washington, DC, Brussels, Singapore, Leipzig, and other locations across the United States. HIMSS represents more than 35,000 individual members, of which more than two thirds work in healthcare provider, governmental and not-for-profit organizations. HIMSS also includes over 520 corporate members and more than 120 not-for-profit organizations that share our mission of transforming healthcare through the effective use of information technology and management systems. HIMSS frames and leads healthcare practices and public policy through its content expertise, professional development, and research initiatives designed to promote information and management systems’ contributions to improving the quality, safety, access, and cost-effectiveness of patient care. To learn more about HIMSS and to find out how to join us and our members in advancing our cause, please visit our website at www.himss.org.

July 13, 2011 I Written By

HL7, IHE and the Health Story Project Encourage HL7 Ballot Participation: Proposed Standards to Support Meaningful Use of EHR Systems

HL7, IHE and the Health Story Project encourage review and comment on proposed health information exchange specifications that support meaningful use of electronic health record (EHR) systems.

The proposed specifications are the result of an industry project, the “HL7/IHE Health Story Implementation Guide Consolidation Project,” which is a collaboration of Health Level Seven (HL7) International, Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE) and the Health Story Project.  Working through the HL7 standards development organization, volunteers consolidated exchange standards for eight common types of clinical documents along with the HL7 Continuity of Care Document (CCD) standard into one comprehensive implementation package that establishes a foundation for health information exchange.  Through the consolidation and harmonization effort, the project addressed minor areas of ambiguity within the specific Standards Final Rule requirement to implement the HL7 Clinical Document Architecture (CDA) Release 2, Continuity of Care Document according to HITSP/C32.

ONC’s Office of Standards and Interoperability (S&I) hosted the volunteer effort within its S&I Framework and facilitated the project through HL7 and IHE with support of its contractors.

In addition to securing support from the ONC S&I Framework, HL7, the Health Story Project and IHE, a number of EHR, clinical document management, infrastructure, middleware and natural language processing vendors contributed volunteers.  “This project caps over five years of strong volunteer efforts within HL7, IHE, Health Story and ONC,” said Liora Alschuler, co-chair of the HL7 Structured Documents Work Group and a co-founder of the Health Story Project, which is aimed at integration of the full patient story within EHR systems.  “The consolidation into a single, cohesive set of structured templates is a huge step forward for interoperability in the U.S.”

“The project provides a great example of how foundational standards efforts can be leveraged to meet today’s interoperability needs,” said Joyce Sensmeier, RN, president, IHE USA. “It is rewarding to see this harmonization work move forward so quickly to make implementation-ready tools available for wide-spread industry adoption.”

“We are pleased that HL7 was able to participate in a transparent and open process for this standards harmonization work. The results of the initial activity were extremely encouraging,” said Charles Jaffe, MD, PhD, CEO, HL7 International. “The HL7 ballot is now open, and we encourage all stakeholders to participate in this industry-wide project. It is our hope that these documents receive wide review and feedback. We look forward to broad collaboration in the refinement of these documents, ultimately creating quality standards that support meaningful use.”

Those interested in participating in the HL7 ballot must sign up for the ballot pool on the HL7 web site by May 2.  Ballots are due May 9. Instructions for participating are available at http://www.hl7.org/participate/onlineballoting.cfm?ref=nav.  A webinar overview about the Consolidation Project that includes ballot instructions is available on the Health Story Project web site at http://www.healthstory.com/news/news.htm.

For more information and/or to get involved in future project work, please visit the project Wiki site at http://jira.siframework.org/wiki/display/SIF/CDA+Consolidation+Project.
About HL7 International
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 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.  For more information, please visit: www.HL7.org.

About Health Story
The Health Story Project was founded a little over three years ago by the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI), the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), Lantana Consulting Group, the Medical Transcription Industry Association (MTIA), and M*Modal. It is now a collaborative of over two dozen healthcare vendors, providers and associations. Health Story accelerates development of HL7 Clinical Document Architecture (CDA) Implementation Guides for common types of electronic healthcare documents, brings them through the HL7 ballot process and promotes their adoption within the industry. Over the previous three years, the initiative supported the development of eight technical implementation guides for standard electronic documents, including the Consultation Note, Diagnostic Imaging Report, Discharge Summary, History and Physical, Operative Note, Procedure Note, Progress Note and Unstructured Documents. Health Story Promoter members include A-Life Medical, Emdat, Fujitsu, GE Medical, InfraWare, MedQuist, Nuance, Osmosyz, 3M and Verizon.  For more information, please visit: www.healthstory.com.

About IHE
IHE USA is a not for profit organization founded 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.  For more information, please visit: www.iheusa.org.

May 1, 2011 I Written By