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Interoperability Leading to Information Exchange

Interoperability Inbox

HIMSS Publishes Third Edition of Best-Selling Dictionary
HIMSS released the third edition of its best-selling Dictionary of Healthcare Information Technology Terms, Acronyms and Organizations in both softcover and eBook editions. Significantly expanded since the 2010 publication of the second edition, the HIMSS Dictionary contains more than 2,900 health IT and related terms and acronyms, and includes information about more than 330 healthcare organizations and associations. The HIMSS Dictionary is the ideal quick-reference resource for healthcare professionals, clinicians, policymakers, and students seeking to understand the terminology and acronyms of the growing health IT industry. Click the link above to order the softcover edition of the Dictionary. Click here to order the eBook version.

Hot Sessions According to Twitter!
In May, the HIMSS eLearning Academy released a collection of seven of the most talked about HIMSS13 Education Sessions on Twitter. This Social Media Collection was mined from 38,972 tweets posted in March during the 2013 Annual HIMSS Conference & Exhibition in New Orleans. Sessions focus on some of the health IT industry's most challenging topics: Big Data, Patient Engagement, Usability, and mHealth. You don’t want to miss your second chance to hear these sessions, in particular the session on interoperability of patient identification data. To view and purchase the seven most-talked about education sessions at HIMSS13, click the link above.

Register for Federal Health IT Business Development Workshop
HIMSS will again offer its popular Federal Health IT Business Development Workshop on June 13, in conjunction with this year’s Government Health IT Conference & Exhibition in Washington, DC. The all day workshop—designed for beginning and experienced health IT and federal business development professionals—is an “insider” seminar into the federal health IT market. This workshop is designed to help participants grow their business in the federal sector, help them break into new agency funding opportunities, and strategize winning requests for proposals to obtain grants and contract. Registration is now open at the link in the headline above.


ONC Releases Framework for Health Information Exchange Governance
On May 3, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) released “Governance Framework for Trusted Electronic Health Information Exchange.” This comes after an announcement that ONC chose not to pursue a formal rulemaking process after issuing a request for information around health information exchange. However, the ONC has continued to be involved in health information exchange efforts and released framework is part of those efforts. Click the link above to read more.

HIE Adoption: Value of Resolving User Pain Points at IHIE
By Kyle Murphy, PhD, EHR Intelligence
Healthcare organizations and providers have a number of motivations for connecting to a health information exchange (HIE). Those forming or participating in accountable care organizations (ACOs) or patient-centered medical homes (PCMHs) require a mechanism for exchanging health information between care providers and settings. As John Kansky, Vice President of Strategy & Planning at the Indiana Health Information Exchange (IHIE) explains, the challenge for his and other HIE organizations of increasing clinician buy-in centers on identifying providers’ pain points and ways HIE can mitigate those sources of discomfort. In this Q&A, Kansky shares what one of the nation’s top exchanges is doing to increase the adoption and meaningful use of HIE. Click the link above to read the interview.

All Maine Hospitals Commit to HIE
By Bernie Monegain, Healthcare IT News
Maine’s HealthInfoNet, a nonprofit that operates the statewide health information exchange, has announced that all acute care hospitals are now under contract to connect to the query-based HIE. HealthInfoNet has 34 of the 38 hospitals connected already and expects the remaining four hospitals to connect by the end of the year. This will make Maine one of few states in the country to have all of its hospitals connected to a query-based HIE, officials say. Read more about this development by clickling the link above.

HIE inPractice Podcast Explores ‘Direct Project’
An April 3 episode of the HIE inPractice Podcast explores the Direct Project, clarifying what it is and is not intended for within the larger health information exchange landscape. Specific topics discussed include the history of the project, benefits over current paper-based methods, general guidance on using the Direct Project, and the use of Direct to achieve Meaningful Use. The episode is moderated by Dr. Russell Leftwich, Chief Medical Informatics Officer, State of Tennessee's Office of eHealth Initiatives. Panelists include Dr. Rodney M. Hamilton, Chief Medical Information Officer, Informatics Corporation of America (ICA), and Arien Malick, Vice President of Strategy, Relay Health.

Showcase Connections

Interoperability Showcase VIP Tour in DC
Attending the Government Health IT Conference & Exhibition this month? You’re invited to join a VIP tour of the HIMSS Interoperability Showcase™ which brings vendors and decision-makers together in a live interactive environment where attendees can watch as health data created in a clinical use case scenario moves from system to system. Space is limited, so book your tour now with Elizabeth Peters.

!!NEW DATES!! North American Connectathon 2014
Update your calendar for the largest interoperability testing event in North America. The Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE) North American Connectathon 2014 has new dates—January 27-31, 2014, and will be held at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Chicago. Registration opens this fall. Click the link above to learn more about the Connectathon.

Interoperability in Digital Dentistry
Vendors of dental systems will participate in testing their information technology products for conformance to new IHE interoperability standards at Connectathon 2014 in Chicago. In this new collaboration, the American Dental Association (ADA) and Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE) will jointly hold the Connectathon for vendors of digital dental healthcare information and imaging systems to test the implementation of interoperability standards. Read the full release by clicking the link in the headline above.

IHE Junction

What are IHE Profiles?
A June 26 HIMSS Virtual Briefing will explore the value of Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE) profiles into your healthcare IT strategy. IHE Profiles, which are similar to implementation guides for standards, are the foundation for interoperability and integrated care. This Virtual Briefing intends to show how organizations can utilize IHE’s free profiles and interoperability testing opportunities to develop new integration products. Click the link above to register and to learn more about this event.

Free ‘Interoperability for Dummies’ eBook
On June 26, IHE USA will release a new eBook—IHE for Dummies, IHE Edition—which provides practical advice for understanding the ins and outs of healthcare interoperability leveraging IHE profiles. Improve your organization’s ability to share patient information securely and efficiently. The free eBook will be available for download on June 26. Learn more about the book by clicking the link in the headline above.

Policy Pipeline

FDASIA Workgroup Seeks Input
The Health IT Policy Committee, a federal advisory committee, recently formed the FDA Safety and Innovation Act (FDASIA) Workgroup. As part of the Workgroup’s charge to produce recommendations to the Health IT Policy Committee, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) has released a request for comments in the Federal Register, seeking input on elements of a regulatory framework for health IT. The public comment period will officially be open through August 31, 2013. Click the link above to read more.

House Committee Hearing Examines HIPAA Concerns
On April 26, a House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee explored how misunderstandings, and at times even proper applications, of HIPAA may interfere with patient care and public safety. At the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations’ hearing, “Does HIPAA Help or Hinder Patient Care and Public Safety?” policy makers discussed how HIPAA may interfere with the necessary flow of information between healthcare providers, patients, and families, in some cases impacting public safety. Click the link above to read more.

HIMSS Chapter Explores Federal Health IT Interoperability
During the National Capitol Area HIMSS Chapter’s recent event, Tom Leary, MALA, CAE, FHIMSS, Vice President, HIMSS Government Relations, was among several high-level government officials and others participating on a panel discussion of “Federal Health IT Interoperability and How it Tests Meaningful Use.” A few points the panel focused on included: the meaning of “Interoperability”; who is making the best progress; and who is budgeting for the service and the return on investment (ROI). The other four panelists included: Doug Fridsma, MD, PhD, Director, Office of Standards and Interoperability, Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, Department of Health and Human Services; Seong K. Mun, PhD, President and CEO of OSEHRA, the Open Source EHR Agent; Robert Anthony, Deputy Director, Health Information technology (HIT) Initiatives Group, Office of E-health Standards and Services at Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and Barclay P. Butler, PhD, Director, Department of Defense/Department of Veterans Affairs Interagency Program Office (IPO). Click the link above to learn more about this event.

Interoperability 101: Moving from Policy to Action
By Allison Viola
On April 10, eHI members, industry stakeholders, and congressional staff convened on Capitol Hill to participate in a discussion regarding “Interoperability 101: The Challenges and Opportunities in Moving from Policy to Action.” This briefing focused on the significance of data exchange supported by health IT and the benefits for healthcare delivery and patient outcomes. Click the link above to learn more about this event.

Volunteer Exchange

HIMSS Congressional Asks Work Group
During the annual HIMSS Policy Summit from September 18-19, 2013, participants will visit with members of Congress and their staff to raise awareness for various topics concerning health IT policy. The Congressional Asks Task Force makes recommendations on HIMSS' top three Congressional Asks for the year. Click the link above to learn how you can participate in this short-term work group.

HIMSS Accountable Care Task Force Seeks Members
The HIMSS Accountable Care Task Force is accepting members for this new Task Force. The Task Force will be focused on the adoption and use of Health Information Technology for Accountable Care organizations and will be co-chaired by Paul Oates, CPHIMS, FHIMSS, IT Architecture, Cigna and Lee Lemelson, RPh, System Vice President, Clinical Applications, Banner Health. The Task Force will work to provide valuable tools and resources to the industry, specifically, use cases and best practices for Accountable Care Organizations. The meetings are held on the first Wednesday of the month, 1 pm-2 pm (ET). To sign up for the Task Force, and to help us get to know each other’s background, skill set and interest, please take a moment to fill out this brief survey. The Task Force is open to all current HIMSS members. Contact Nancy Devlin, for further information.

New I&S Work Groups and Task Forces in FY14
As many of you know HIMSS will begin a new year of activities on July 1, 2013. We would like to encourage your participation on HIMSS Interoperability & Standards Committee Work Groups and Task Forces in the coming year. If you are interested in volunteering, please complete the on-line Volunteer Sign-Up Form. Remember only active members of HIMSS may serve on Work Groups and Task Forces. So if you and/or your company/organization needs to sign-up for or renew their HIMSS membership please go to the HIMSS Member Center or call (312) 664-4467.

Interoperability Interchange

The Interoperability Paradigms of HL7 FHIR
By Rob Brull
I recently had the pleasure of attending a presentation by Grahame Grieve, the originator of FHIR, on the details behind this evolving health IT standard. I have written a couple of blogs previously to introduce FHIR, including 5 Things to Know About HL7 FHIR and Review of The HL7 FHIR Session at HIMSS13. This standard is evolving steadily within the HL7 organization and is fully expected to reach Draft Standard for Trial Use (DSTU) by the end of 2013. In his presentation, Grieve discussed four interoperability paradigms as they relate to FHIR. Click the link above to continue reading.

New HIE inPractice Podcast Explores HIEs, ACOs, and the Continuum of Care
Dr. Tom Jones, CEO of Tolven Health and FY13 HIMSS HIE Committee Chair, provides insight into the symbiotic relationship between accountable care and health information exchange in order to improve patient care, support health information exchange sustainability and facilitate both the economic and quality missions of accountable care organizations. Download this and previous episodes by clicking the link above.

Video: What Will Drive the Adoption of Health IT and the EHR
This video of John Loonsk, MC, FACMI, CMIO-CGI, was filmed at the I&S Networking Breakfast at HIMSS13 on March 6, 2013. Please click the link above to view the video.

Toolbox Express

HIMSS Adds Standards 101 Section To Website
HIMSS has added numerous resources to the Standards 101 section of the Interoperability Toolkit including: Why Do We Need Standards and Evolution of Healthcare Informatics Standards. Click the link in the headline to go to the webpage.

NeHC HIE Learning Network
NeHC has established the HIE Learning Network to provide the ideal venue for facilitating the education and collaboration that is needed to fast-forward progress toward a widespread and integrated deployment of efficient and effective HIE. Click the link above to go to their website.

S&I Framwork- BlueButton+ Pull API
The S&I Framework Pull Work Group completed consensus on the Draft BlueButton+ API Documentation with a vote that closed on May 6, 2013. It was decided that before an app connects to a BlueButton+ provider, it registers with that provider as an OAuth2 Client. The registration process informs the provider what the app is called, where to find it, what permissions it might ask patients for, and how to display an authorization screen to patients. Click the link in the headline to read the documentation.

Solutions Central

After Three Years, ONC, Beacon Community Participants Assess Progress
By Tom Sullivan, Healthcare IT News

The Beacon Communities proved that organizations can advocate changes to how healthcare is paid for by working with payers and providers, while improving quality and safety at the same time — lessons learned locally but applicable to the entire nation, said Farzad Mostashari, MD, national coordinator for health IT. “These were the pillars of the Beacon Community activities, and they taught us,” Mostashari said. “They showed what we needed to do.” Mostashari spoke May 22 during an online event titled The Beacon Community Experience: Illuminating the Path Forward. The idea was to assess how the 17 Beacon Communities had fared over the past three years. The 17 communities across the country were funded by ONC with $250 million to serve as models for changing healthcare. ONC named 15 communities at first, and added two later. Click the link above to continue reading.

HL7 Preps Healthcare Clinical Messaging Standard
By Ken Terry, InformationWeek

Health IT standards-development organization HL7 has developed a new standards framework for clinical messaging. Known as Fast Health Interoperable Resources (FHIR), the new architecture could simplify the writing of interfaces between healthcare information systems. It could also provide a much-sought method for clinical research organizations to pull data out of electronic health records (EHRs). The HL7 membership will vote in September on whether to accept FHIR as a draft standard for trial use. If enough organizations test it and find it feasible, HL7 could adopt FHIR as a "normative" standard by the end of 2014. Click the link above to continue reading.

HIMSS Bookstore. June Book of the Month - 2013 Annuals Report of the U.S. Hospital IT Market. Gain valuable insights into the worlds of health IT.


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Upcoming Events & Deadlines

June 10
Steering Committee on Telehealth and Healthcare Informatics—20th Anniversary – Washinton, DC

June 11-12
Government Health IT Conference & Exhibition – Washington, DC

June 17
OMG Summit on Evolving an Open e-Health Platform – Berlin, Germany

June 17-18
ICD-10 Leadership Forum – Washington, DC

June 17-21
OMG Technical Meeting – Berlin, Germany

June 21
SEMIC 2013 – Dublin, Ireland

June 24-28
Microsoft Interoperability Protocols Plugfest 2013 – Redmond, WA

Sept. 16-20
National Health IT Week – Washington, DC

Sept. 18-19
HIMSS 12th Annual Policy Summit – Washinton, DC

September 23-27
OMG Technical Meeting – New Brunswick, NJ

September 24-26
IEEE-SIIT 2003 – Sophia-Antipolis, France


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
Joyce E. Sensmeier, MS, RN, BC, CPHIMS, FHIMSS, FAAN, Vice President, Informatics,
Pam Matthews, RN, MBA, CPHIMS, LFHIMSS, Senior Director, Informatics,
Mary-Ellen Devitt Johnson, MPP, Senior Manager, Interoperability & Standards,
Julie Moffitt, Senior Coordinator, Informatics,
Matt Schlossberg, Editor, Information Xchange,, 312-915-9282
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