HIMSS News

VA Introduces Rasu Shrestha as Lead for Open API Pledge Initiative

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has recruited Rasu Shrestha, MD, Chief Innovation Officer at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, to lead the VA Open Application Programming Interface (API) Pledge.  Dr. Shrestha is an active member of the HIMSS Innovation Community and a leading voice on leveraging innovation to improve consumer access to care.

VA Secretary David Shulkin, MD, used his keynote presentation at HIMSS18 to encourage entities to sign the Open API Pledge, to accelerate the mapping of health data to industry standards, including the current and future versions of Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR).  VA is committed to providing API access to developers for veteran-designated mobile and web-based apps, clinician-designated applications for those who serve them and collaborates responsible for coordinating their care via “bulk” access.  

HIMSS along with providers, such as the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic, and Geisinger Health System have signed the pledge thus far.  

During HIMSS18, VA also announced the launch of the “beta” version of Lighthouse Lab, a platform offering developers access to tools for creating mobile and web applications that will help Veterans better manage their care, services, and benefits.

Additional organizations can sign-up to support the pledge online. VA plans to convene interested organizations for a roundtable discussion in April and commit to working with VA and standards community to implement the existing Argonaut Project implementation guides. The organizations will participate in testing draft specifications for scheduling, clinical notes, questionnaire and encounters, as well as implement access standards for Veterans, clinicians and the care teams that serve them.