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Interoperability Leading to Information Exchange
February 2013 Vol. 2, No. 2 SUBSCRIBE | MEMBERSHIP


Cutting-Edge 'Leading from the Future' Program Returns to HIMSS13
The theme of this year's Leading from the Future event at HIMSS13 is entitled Delivering on Value—The Handshake between Cost & Quality. Leading from the Future will tackle the critical need to link the interconnectedness of cost of care and quality of that care. New to this year's event is ACO Encounters, a series of presentations that feature representatives of successful accountable care organization(ACO) models from the payer, physician, and health system perspectives. Segmented groups of attendees will circulate among the three presentations, ask questions, and network with experts. The first ACO Encounter session will be lead by a payer organization, specifically Charles Kennedy, the CEO of Aetna Healthcare; the second ACO Encounter is with representatives from Arizona Connected Care; the Encounter series wraps up with Tricia Nguyen of Banner Health. These presentations will be followed by an ACO panel discussion. Click the link above to review the complete Leading from the Future agenda.

Annual Call for Committee Applications Open thru March 8
HIMSS opens its annual call for volunteers to serve on a committee for the 2014–15 fiscal years. Service on a HIMSS Committee—focused on specific settings and constituencies within health IT and key industry topics, is an excellent opportunity for professional development, networking and active engagement. Committee participation is open to all individual and corporate HIMSS Members who are not serving in other leadership positions within the Society and have been a member in good standing for at least the past 12 consecutive months. Members with questions regarding serving on a committee should e–mail Joan Flagg or call 734–477–0862.

HIMSS13 HIE Symposium to Focus on Results-Driven Health Information Exchange
Kick off your HIMSS13 experience by attending the HIE Symposium on Sunday, March 3. The theme of this year's HIE Symposiums is Results Driven Health Information Exchange! The opening keynote features both Claudia Williams, Senior Advisor on Health Information Technology (HIT) at the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy (OSTP), and Bruce Greenstein, Louisiana Secretary of Health and Hospitals. Throughout the day, hear from health information exchange (HIE) industry leaders as they address significant topics supporting the deployment, adoption, and utilization of health information exchange. Click the link above to read more.

Missouri and Illinois become First to Exchange Direct Secure Messages across State Lines
Last month, Missouri Health Connection (MHC) and the Illinois Health Information Exchange (ILHIE) became the first in the nation to exchange Direct secure messages across state lines. This landmark announcement comes after the two networks successfully exchanged test messages. "By connecting with our border states, Missouri Health Connection will help ensure improved care for patients who cross state lines for medical care," said Mary Kasal, President & CEO of Missouri Health Connection. "We're excited to be connected to Illinois and look forward to more collaboration in the days ahead." Click the link above to learn more.

University of Texas Launches HIE Lab
ICA, a provider of interoperability technology that enables health information exchange (HIE), announced that the health technology interoperability laboratory at The University of Texas at Austin, in which it participates, is now up and running. The laboratory, funded by a grant from the Longhorn Innovation Fund for Technology from the university, is the latest addition to the Health IT Certificate program at the university, which was launched in January 2010 in collaboration with the Texas e-Health Alliance, the Texas Medical Association and members of the health IT industry. Click the link above to learn more.

PCE Systems to Partner with Michigan HIE
By Diana Manos, Healthcare IT News
The Michigan Health Information Network Shared Services (MiHIN) has announced that PCE Systems, a provider of electronic health record(EHR) solutions to Michigan's behavioral health organizations, has executed the legal data sharing agreements to become a virtually qualified data sharing organization (VQO) through MiHIN. Click the link above to read more.

Showcase Connection

Interoperability Showcase to Appear at HIMSS Middle East Conference
The HIMSS Interoperability Showcase will be appearing at the Ministry of Health & HIMSS Middle East Conference and Exhibition, April 30–May 1, in Saudi Arabia. The country will be building 40 new hospitals each year for the next five years. The Ministry of Health & HIMSS Middle East Conference and Exhibition will host many key stakeholders and government officials who will be determining how technology will be determining how technology will be used in these hospitals.

The HIMSS Middle East Interoperability Showcase is your opportunity to maximize your company' position in the Middle East market by allowing Saudi officials to see first-hand that your system is among those most easily integrated to improve patient care. Space in the Interoperability Showcase is limited. For more information, please contact Sandy Vance, Director, Global Interoperability Showcases, or Sean Roberts, Senior Manager of Sales.

Interoperability & Standards Networking Breakfast at HIMSS13
The newly formed HIMSS Interoperability & Standards (&S) Committee will be hosting a networking breakfast on the Interoperability Showcase™ floor on Wednesday, March 6, during HIMSS13. The intent of this special event is to build and bring together the growing I&S Community at HIMSS13. Currently, there are plans for a panel of experts to engage with participants in an interactive educational session. In addition to this exciting session and networking with colleagues, there will also be an opportunity for interested attendees to volunteer for specific I&S Committee Work Groups and Task Forces. No additional registration fee is required for this breakfast, but there is limited space available.
Please e-mail or call the Staff Liaison for the I&S Committee at 312-915-9208 to make sure to reserve your spot for this event.

IHE USA Certification Pilot at Connectathon 2013
IHE USA announced a new program that will offer certification to complement existing testing of conformance to IHE integration profiles. This new service is being delivered through a strategic partnership between IHE USA and ICSA Labs. Eight companies certified during the pilot program at the 2013 North American Connectathon last week.

"IHE USA is pleased to be working with ICSA Labs as we share the goal and experience of accelerating the adoption of usable, secure, and interoperable health information technology, to enable the improvement of patient safety and delivery of higher quality of care."

Certification in the US market is already a reality. This certification program makes IHE a visible part of that process. It highlights the relevance of IHE's profiles and their ability to provide substantial interoperability components of meaningful use Stage 3 and any programs that might build on or succeed it. For more information, click the link in the headline above.

HIMSS Blog Spotlights Interoperability and IHE NA Connectathon
by Cari McLean
Last week the 2013 IHE North American Connectathon, coined as the "Lollapalooza of the health IT world," was held in Chicago from Jan. 28-Feb. 2. The IHE NA Connectathon brought together 500+ of the industry's top engineers—making it the largest interoperability testing event in the United States. Throughout the week, the HIMSS Blog featured industry insiders' perspectives on the happenings of at the Connectathon, and regarding interoperability and standards in general.

Check out these blog posts:

  • Connecting for Interoperability – Day 1 at the Connectathon by Keith W. Boone
  • Testing for Interoperability – Now in Progress by Joyce Sensmeier
  • The Shared Goal of Interoperability by Kathleen Kimmel
  • Interoperability Made Real by Carla Smith
  • Are There Really Any Health IT Standards by Joy Kuhl
  • An Insider's View of Interoperability by Joyce Sensmeier

IHE NA Connectathon Expands to Advance Interoperability of EHRs
by Celina Roth
Significant steps were taken toward advancing the interoperability of Electronic Health Records (EHRs) at the IHE NA Connectathon and Conference 2013 which took place last week at the Hyatt Regency in Chicago, IL. IHE USA's 14th annual interoperability testing event introduced several new features to complement the events core foundation- conformance testing of IHE profiles. This year, eight IHE domains were tested on 160+ systems among 550 of the industry's top engineers.

New features included testing of HL7's Consolidated Clinical Document Architecture (C-CDA), a new qualification in standards and certification criteria for Meaningful Use Stage 2 in the US. IHE USA also introduced a new Certification Pilot Program with eight participating vendors. Read the full press release for details on the new testing features, outcomes, and a recap of the one-day educational conference.

You can see what people were talking about during the Conference and on the testing floor by going to Twitter #CAT13 and watching the some of the video clips from the event.

Been There, Done That—Now onto the Showcase at HIMSS13!
For those vendors who were able to pass the interoperability testing criteria at the IHE 2013 North American Connectathon (aka, #CAT13) they are now able to participate as exhibitors at the HIMSS13 Interoperability Showcase™ from March 4-6, 2013 in New Orleans. At the Showcase clinicians, technicians and key decision makers come together in a demonstration of real-life interoperable healthcare information technology solutions. Attendees become the patient in a virtual healthcare scenario and watch their health data move electronically from system to system and from provider to provider. Touted as the nation's premier forum highlighting the Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise's (IHE) common framework, the Showcase brings solution providers and decision-makers together in a "seeing is believing" interactive environment.

For more information about the HIMSS13 Annual Conference visit the official website.

Policy Pulse

HHS Rebranding Exchanges as 'Marketplaces'
By Anthony Brino, Associate Editor, Government Health IT
In the language of American health reform, "exchange" and "marketplace" have been pretty much interchangeable. Now, though, the Department of Health & Human Services is embracing the word marketplace in official communications, as part of a revamped public outreach effort. Following the expectations of ACA drafters, HHS officials thought the agency would mostly be financially supporting and regulating state-based exchanges — not operating dozens of them and building so many in such a short span of time. Whether or not HHS's exchange-marketplace rebranding will garner the support of reluctant state lawmakers, as October 2013 enrollment approaches, some health policy analysts do think the word marketplace is a better descriptor for communicating with average Americans, like those who'll be buying insurance with premium assistance. Click the link above to learn more.

Summit Report on Medical Device Interoperability
A two–day summit hosted by the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) in collaboration with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in early October drew roughly 260 attendees who gathered outside Washington DC, to discuss and debate challenges and solutions related to interoperability. Lessons learned at this joint AAMI–FDA summit are described in a new AAMI report entitled, Medical Device Interoperability: A Safer Path Forward. Click the link above to learn more.

HHS Unveils Proposed HIE Rules
By John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, January 15, 2013
Federal officials in January rolled out a table-rattling 474-page proposed rule designed to clarify and promote consistency around eligibility, benefits, and appeals for people enrolling in health insurance exchanges in 2014, and to provide more flexibility for states' Medicaid programs. Click the link in the headline above to read more.

HIE Governance Town Halls Announced for this Month
Join Dr. Farzad Mostashari and senior staff at ONC for an open listening session on governance of health information exchange. This town hall will provide an opportunity for a wide range of stakeholders to describe their experience, practices, issues, priorities, and suggestions regarding HIE governance initiatives. Stakeholder input from this listening session will inform ONC activities and assist in advancing governance goals of nationwide health information exchange: increase interoperability, decrease the cost and complexity of exchange, and increase trust among participants to mobilize trusted exchange to support patient care. Click the link in the headline above to read more.

ONC HIT Standards Committee Releases Workplan
The Health IT Standards Committee held its first meeting of 2013 this week. The meeting provided a forum for two very important presentations. Committee leadership laid out the draft workplan for 2013, and each workgroup presented its response to the Health IT Policy Committee's Request for Comment on Meaningful Use Stage 3 requirements. The committee also received an update from ONC on various program activities and the status of the S&I portfolio. ONC noted that S&I is transitioning into a maintenance role over the course of 2013, and is working to secure the future of current S&I projects. To access HIMSS' full summary of the meeting, please click the link above.

A Boon to Healthcare Interoperability in India
By Mary-Ellen Devitt Johnson
Continua Health Alliance* has announced the appointment of Rajendra Gupta as the Chair for their India Working Group. Rajendra (aka, Raj) is internationally recognized as an innovator in healthcare and public policy, having served in top leadership positions with many of the world's largest companies. His work has influenced local, national and international healthcare policy. Raj also works with government bodies in India, including the Ministry of Health, and international organizations such as the United Nations, World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Economic Forum, where he serves on the Forum's Global Agenda Council on Digital Health and the US-India Science and Technology Endowment Fund.

ANSI Accredited Health IT EHR Certification Bodies
By Mary-Ellen Devitt Johnson
This past summer, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), coordinator of the U.S. voluntary standardization system, announced the first accreditations of health information technology certification bodies under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) Health Information Technology (HIT) Certification Program, formerly known as Permanent Certification Program for HIT.

The program provides a way for organizations to become authorized by ONC to test and certify electronic health record (EHR) technology. As Approved Accreditor, ANSI reviews and accredits all certification bodies seeking to participate in the ONC program. ANSI's Accreditation Committee confirmed the following accreditations on July 10, the first to be announced as part of the ONC program:

  • Certification Commission for Health Information Technology (CCHIT)
  • Drummond Group, Inc.
  • ICSA Laboratories, Inc.
  • InfoGard Laboratories, Inc.
  • Orion Register, Inc.

The scope for these accredited certifiers includes complete EHRs and EHR modules. A complete EHR refers to EHR technology that has been developed to meet, at a minimum, all applicable certification criteria adopted by the HHS Secretary. An EHR module refers to any service, component, or combination thereof that meets at least one certification criterion adopted by the Secretary. Certification of EHRs includes compliance with:

  • ISO/IEC Guide 65 - General requirements for bodies operating product certification systems
  • IAF Guidance on the application of ISO/IEC Guide 65
45 CFR PART 170 – Health Information Technology Standards, Implementation Specifications, and Certification Criteria and Certification Programs for Health Information Technology


Volunteer Exchange

HIMSS Interoperability Maturity Model Work Group Seeks Members
The Interoperability Maturity Model Work Group has been recently established by the Interoperability & Standards (I&S) Committee. This work group will examine applicable maturity models and develop an Interoperability Maturity Model to accelerate our industry's interoperability goals and promote the adoption of electronic medical records. Participation is open to all active HIMSS members and the work group will meet monthly via teleconference. If you are interested in volunteering for the Interoperability Maturity Model (IMM) Work Group, please e-mail the I&S Committee liaison, Mary-Ellen Devitt Johnson.

Seeking Members for HIE Task Forces and Work Groups
The HIMSS HIE Committee is seeking members to join a number of their task forces and work groups. Click the link above to learn more about these groups and how to join.

Participants Needed for New I&S Committee Work Groups
The new Interoperability & Standards (I&S) Committee is looking for volunteers to serve on a variety of work groups including: HIMSS Interoperability Policy Section (HIPS) Work Group; Enterprise Architecture (EA) Work Group; I&S Section of the mHIMSS Roadmap (ISS mHealth) Work Group; I&S Toolkit & Web Resource (Toolkit) Work Group (TBD); Health IT Standards (Standards) Work Group (TBD); and the Technical Information Exchange (Tech-IE) Work Group (TBD). If you would like to volunteer to serve on any of the I&S Committee Work Groups please contact Mary-Ellen Devitt Johnson at the e-mail link above.


HIMSS13 Agenda Packed with Opportunities to Advance Interoperability Know-How
By Joyce Sensmeier, MS, RN-BC, CNS, CENP, CPHQ, CPHIMS
January 2013, HIMSS Clinical Informatics Insights

Interoperability leading to information exchange is a high priority for HIMSS as we focus on achieving our mission. And to this end, there are many exciting activities at HIMSS13 in New Orleans that will help you advance your own organization's interoperability strategies. Click the link above to read more about these opportunities at HIMSS13.

Interoperability vs. Health Information Exchange: Setting the Record Straight
By Dr. Doug Fridsma, Chief Science Officer and Director, Office of Science & Technology
Published Jan. 9 at
Health IT Buzz

One thing that I've learned in the government is that words matter, and sometimes, particularly in complicated or technical areas, it can be hard to use words that are precise and accurate. Sometimes we use the same term to apply to a broad range of concepts or ideas because it can be complicated to describe all the nuances captured by that work. Sometimes the words we use start out as verbs and then turn into nouns.  Sometimes the names (and meanings) evolve over time. And sometimes the same words are used in different areas to mean entirely different things. Click the link above to read more.

Managing Consent in an HIE Environment
By Michael Berry, Project Manager, HLN Consulting, LLC and Noam H. Arzt, President, HLN Consulting, LLC

Adapted from testimony given to the Illinois Health Information Exchange, Data Security and Privacy Committee, July 17, 2012.

One of the most challenging operational aspects of running an HIE is obtaining and managing consent. In this article we would like to review some of the key issues related to this topic as well as different strategies being used in HIEs around the country to manage consent.

Palomar Health Improves Team Communication with Enhanced Nurse Call System.


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Upcoming Events & Deadlines

2/6/2013 | 2/13/2013 | 2/13/2013
Ensuring an Exceptional Experience at HIMSS13: Conference Orientation for All Levels of Attendees: A Three-Part Virtual Series

Feb. 14, 2013
Open Town Hall Listening Session with Dr. Farzad Mostashari, National Coordinator for Health IT, ONC

March 3–7, 2013
2013 Annual HIMSS Conference & Exhibition

March 18
Big Data in the Cloud: Preparing for the Future

April 13–16, 2013
The Healthcare CIO Bootcamp

April 15–19, 2013
IHE-Europe Connectathon 2013
Istanbul, Turkey

April 30–May 1, 2013
Ministry of Health & HIMSS Middle East Conference and Exhibition
Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

May 13–15, 2013
eHealth Week
Dublin, Ireland


Note: The inclusion of an organization name, product or service in this publication should not be construed as a HIMSS endorsement of such organization, product or service, nor is the failure to include an organization name, product or service to be construed as disapproval.

Information Xchange features extended coverage of all aspects pertaining to interoperability and standards leading to health information exchange. Published on the first Thursday of the month, this newsletter provides the latest industry news, case studies and expert interviews. Information Xchange is a complimentary resource for HIMSS members, organizations, government agencies and anyone involved and interested in today's interoperability, standards and information exchange activities.

We hope you have enjoyed Information Xchange. If you and your colleagues would like to permanently subscribe to each and every complimentary edition, click here.

Information Xchange Team
Erica Pantuso, Vice President, Regional Affairs,
James St. Clair, Senior Director, Interoperability & Standards,
Joyce E. Sensmeier, MS, RN, BC, CPHIMS, FHIMSS, FAAN, Vice President, Informatics,
Mary-Ellen Johnson, Senior Manager, Interoperability & Standards,
Matt Schlossberg, Editor, Information Xchange,, 312-915-9282
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