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#PHI2016 Interoperability & Informatics

Zika, IHE, public health law, bio-surveillance, evidence-based guidelines, community crisis, health information exchange, HL7 FHIR®, public health infrastructure and interoperability were my key learnings from the CDC/NACCHO Public Health Informatics Conference.

The joint CDC, NACCHO, HIMSS Interoperability Showcase™ brought me to Atlanta, Ga. on Aug. 21-24 to execute, with 22 partnering organizations, live demonstrations of standard-based health information exchange, showing how these standards-based transactions bring critical information to the right people at the right time and place.

Our demonstrations included specific use case tours, developed by a robust planning committee of expert public health informatics leaders. We designed the demonstration so that attendees could experience a series of real-life scenarios. Each scenario or ‘Use Case tour’ visited clinical settings where each attendee was able to experience high-tech, high touch, seamless and secure exchange of electronic health information that helps eliminate the need for redundant information capture and data entry.

Well over 100 visitors learned how bi-directional interoperability enables public health entities, plans and stakeholders -  through the power of informatics – to have a vital impact on patient care and to improve community wellness.

Our use cases:

  • Cancer Reporting
  • Electronic Case Reporting (e-CR)
  • Healthy Weight and Occupational Data
  • Immunization Integration and Reporting
  • STDs – Reporting and Biosurveillance
  • Vital Records – Birth Reporting with Infectious Disease Reporting
  • Vital Records – Death Reporting

HIMSS also hosted a workshop during #PHI2016 that explored the value health IT can bring to communities in crisis. Adam Pertman, Stewards for Change, and Valerie Rogers, HIMSS director, state government affairs, presented Building Community-Based Solutions to Connect for Public Health. Attendees shared ideas to kick start the conversation; key themes included:

  • Bring data together – across registries and other systems
  • Change the way we communicate
  • Connect to environmental monitoring
  • Explore cultural vs policy barriers to HIE
  • Link case management systems surveillance systems, registries, lab systems and other population health captured by ACOs thru robust HIE
  • Link Lab systems to EHRs for better population health
  • Address the need for bi-directional exchange, registries, EHRs and common elements
  • Understand patient matching data sciences, opportunities & implications

I look forward to hearing about the outcomes of the workshop and invite you to think about how we can work toward advancing public health informatics, innovation and interoperability. 

Keywords: 
Health IT; HIMSS; value of health IT