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Strategic Interoperability: The Clinical and Business Imperative for Healthcare Organizations. A free white paper featuring research results from HIMSS Analytics.
Interoperability Leading to Information Exchange


HIMSS14 Early Bird Rates Expire Soon!
Register for the 2014 Annual HIMSS Conference & Exhibition by 11:59 pm on Monday, Dec. 9, 2013 and save hundreds of dollars with special early bird rates.  This premier health information technology (IT) event is being held from February 23-27, 2014 in Orlando, Florida with expected attendance to be more than 30,000 health IT professionals. Register for HIMSS14 today!

HIMSS Announces Interoperability Definition Champions
HIMSS is looking for organizations of like-minded colleagues to become Interoperability Definition Champions. Champions are those organizations that want the industry to proceed with a standard interpretation and understanding of interoperability in health IT.  Become a champion for interoperability by adopting the HIMSS Definition of Interoperability. Click on the headline to learn more.

HIMSS Innovation Center a Worldwide Center of Excellence
Launched in October 2013 at the Global Center for Health Innovation in Cleveland, the HIMSS Innovation Center demonstrates the value that IT and information exchange bring to the patient, clinician, and the bottom line. Visitors can experience how technologies from multiple solution providers work together to securely store, manage, and access patient demographic, clinical, and financial information. Click the link to learn more.

Evaluating Standards to Adopt
Based on the guidance of the FY13 Standards Work Group, HIMSS has published a white paper entitled, Evaluating HIT Standards: Key Principles to Support Healthcare IT Interoperability in the United States. This white paper is the product of the HIMSS FY13 Standards Work Group under the Interoperability & Standards (I&S) Committee. To move this work forward, the Interoperability & Standards Practices Task Force will analyze selected standards as they adhere to key principles delineated in the paper, including consensus-based development; flexibility to adapt to changes; consistent and precise vocabulary; and tested implementation guidance. The goal of this work is to demonstrate that compatibility and harmonization across standards development and implementation will enhance interoperability in health information technology. Click the headline to read the paper.

IEEE, Continua Collaborate For Device Interoperability
IEEE Standards Association and Continua Health Alliance have entered a strategic agreement to help accelerate and broaden the adoption of standards-based technologies for personal-medical and home-monitoring devices. Click on the headline to read the full article.

CIOs Push for Patient ID Progress
Joey Sudomir, Senior Vice President and CIO of Texas Health Partners, said it costs $600 to $800 to remediate duplicate patient identities following hospital discharge. A national ID would help foster interoperability and create a "universal view of each one of us" in a care setting, Sudomir added. Click on the headline to read the full Healthcare IT News article.

Solutions Central

What the Heck is LOINC and Where Do I Start?
Regenstrief Institute has launched a new resource designed to help people better understand and apply LONIC®, a common language for clinical and laboratory observations. The LOINC Quick Start Guide offers basic guidance on for those new to Logical Observation Identifiers Names and Codes (LOINC), as well as a refresher for “LONIC gurus.” Click on the headline above to go to this tool on the Regenstrief Website.

RSNA and Regenstrief Launch Collaboration to Unify Radiology Procedure Naming
Regenstrief Institute will collaborate with the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) to unify terms for radiology procedures. The goal of this project is to produce a single unified source of names and codes for radiology procedures through a cooperative governance process.  Click on the headline above to read more.

Free eBook on Interoperability
In November 2013 FierceHealthIT published a free eBook entitled, Interoperability: The Path To Management and Standardizing Health Data. This eBook explores healthcare data interoperability issues and opportunities.

Accountable Care Organizations: Core IT Capabilities Defined
A new document from the HIMSS Accountable Care Task Force features a starter kit of IT capabilities needed and employed in an ACO. As ACOs grow and mature over time, so will the understanding of IT enablers and thus this list. Click the link above to access. To join the ACO task force and continue development of the capability framework, contact Shelley Price, HIMSS.

IHE Junction

Volunteer for the Largest Interoperability Testing Event in the US! 
Join the IHE USA team at the IHE North American (NA) Connectathon 2014 from January 27 - January 31, 2014 at the Hyatt Regency in Chicago, Illinois and help support the largest interoperable testing event in the country ! Apply to be a student volunteer and assist with the execution of this event. Volunteers can engage with 500+ of the industry's top engineers. For questions e-mail and click on the headline above for more information. The application deadline is Dec. 30. 

Attend the IHE NA Connectathon Conference 2014
The IHE North American (NA) Connectathon Conference 2014 is a one-day educational conference held in conjunction with the IHE NA Connectathon on Jan. 29, 2014. Attendees gain critical best practices and learn from health IT’s top thought leaders and organizations as they converge in downtown Chicago. Click the link above to learn more, register and view the complete agenda.

IHE World Summit—You're Invited to Take Part
Registration is now open for the IHE World Summit: Building Bridges to Better Health – Health IT Standards & Interoperability in a Global Context. This IHE International conference will engage stakeholders in health IT with thought leaders on standards, interoperability and electronic health records from around the world. The Summit is being held Feb. 19-21, 2014, in Orlando, Florida, prior to HIMSS14. Click the headline to learn more and register.

Swan Song for Connectathon in Windy City
Anticipation about the 2015 IHE North American Connectathon’s move to the HIMSS Innovation Center in Cleveland is running high among the event’s organizers, though they insist that they are not looking past their final year in Chicago Jan. 27-31, 2014. In fact, there are many reasons for excitement at the Windy City event, namely the rollout of the New Directions testing track, designed for testing of innovative health IT applications still in development. Read the full article in Healthcare IT News by clicking the headline.

HIE Highway

Barriers to Health Information Exchange
By Paul Cerrato, InformationWeek
In order to achieve true interoperability, patients' need for better data sharing must come before the interests of providers, vendors and regulators. Click the link above to read more.

Maine to Connect Veterans to HIE
The State of Maine, in partnership with HealthInfoNet, Maine's statewide health information exchange, has been awarded a three-year grant with an anticipated total of $900,000 to improve care coordination for Maine's veterans. Click on the headline above to read the full Healthcare IT News article.

HIE Roundup: Chicago Effort to be One of Nation's Largest
The formation of one of the country's largest health information exchanges lends itself to an influx of HIE news around the U.S. Thirty-four Chicago-area hospitals are set to exchange patient data as MetroChicago HIE launches early next year, reports the Chicago Tribune. Read the full article by Susan D. Hall in FierceHealthIT.


Coordinated Federal mHealth Town Hall
This month’s mHealth Summit will feature a high-level town hall plenary session called Coordinated Federal mHealth Policies Toward Quality Outcomes. The session will feature leading agency administrators and private sector policy experts who will discuss coordination and collaboration efforts. The event will be held on Monday, Dec. 9, at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, in the Washington DC area. Click the link above for details and to register.

House Hearing Reviews Health IT Regulations and Mobile Medical App Guidance
The House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Health held a hearing on Nov. 19 on “Examining Federal Regulation of Mobile Medical Apps and Other Health Software.” The hearing reviewed the Food and Drug Administration’s recently released final guidance to regulate mobile medical applications; witnesses included Dr. Jeffrey Shuren, Director of the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health. Click the link above for highlights from the hearing and to access written testimony.

Congress, FDA at Odds Over Software as a Medical Device
By Greg Slabodkin, FierceMobileHealthcare
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and members of Congress are at odds over whether software should be regulated as a medical device. Both sides of the argument were made at a hearing held Nov. 19 by the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health which examined federal regulation of mobile medical apps and other health software. Click the link above to read more.

HIMSS Looks to Change Mobile Health Regulatory Framework
According to the Health Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), the FDA needs to revamp its guidance on mobile medical apps, handed down in final version this September. The guidance leaves too many gray areas, and one area HIMSS would like to see clearly outlined in any regulatory framework is electronic health records and clinical decision support. Click the headline to read Tom Sullivan’s full article in Government Health IT.

DoD and VA Award iEHR Interoperability Re-Compete Contract
Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Department of Defense (DoD) run two of the largest healthcare systems in the world, and there have been ongoing issues integrating the VA and DoD’s health systems. However, there may be some hope that the two agencies will be able to share patient information through electronic health records thanks to the Integrated Electronic Health Record (iEHR) project. The iEHR aims to create data interoperability through a single, common health record between all VA and DoD medical facilities. The contract will enable these healthcare providers to access the health information of veterans and active military members across their lifetimes and leverage longitudinal patient records for determining treatment plans. Click the link above to read more.

AHA Urges CMS to Start ICD-10 Testing by January 2014
By Ashley Gold, FierceHealthIT
The American Hospital Association is urging the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to expedite its ICD-10 testing plans to make sure testing begins by January 2014 and that it is made available to all hospitals. Though AHA recognizes CMS wants to educate providers on ICD-10, "extensive, end-to-end testing by Medicare contractors and state Medicaid agencies of both the electronic transaction and the adjudication of the claim will be needed to ensure a smooth transition from ICD-9 to ICD-10," Linda E. Fishman, senior vice president of public policy analysis and development for AHA, wrote in the organization's Nov. 20 letter to CMS. Click the link above to read more.

HIMSS Exchange

HIMSS Annual Call for Committee Volunteers
The HIMSS Annual Call for Committee Volunteers for the 2015-2016 fiscal year will open on January 2, 2014.  Serving on a HIMSS Committee is an excellent opportunity for professional development, networking and active engagement around key health IT topics, settings, and constituencies.  The application will be available from January 2, 2014 through March 6, 2014.  Committee participation is open to all Individual and Corporate HIMSS members who are not currently serving in other leadership positions within the Society and who have maintained active membership for at least the past 12 consecutive months.  If you have questions regarding serving on a Committee please contact Carrie Subelsky.

HIMSS CEO Shares Health IT Insights
Hear from HIMSS President/CEO H. Stephen Lieber, CAE, as he shares his health IT insights on Conversations in Health Care, a radio interview program focused on “opportunities for reform and innovation in the health care system.”

One Price for HIMSS eBooks Subscriptions for Your ENTIRE Organization
Introducing the HIMSS eBook Subscription Program – you organization can now electronically access a library of knowledge through the HIMSS eBook library. Purchase a subscription to HIMSS eBooks or customized a package for your company, community or organization. The subscription program allows for concurrent knowledge delivery—allowing you and your staff to learn, grow and apply as a team. E-mail us, to learn about the subscription program and applicable rates.

Interoperability Interchange*

VIEWPOINT: What EHR Interoperability Means to the Patient Experience
By Bob Green, EHR Intelligence
The challenge of enabling EHR interoperability is at the forefront of many conversations about EHR adoption and health information exchange (HIE). It’s the all-too-common features and benefits presentation for the use of health resources in the clinic...engaging people in a new conversation about healthcare is a challenging one, whether it’s on the path to accountable care or an informal approach based on those coveted referral relationships within a community. But it’s the interoperability of people that is so important in delivering an improved new patient experience that represents an ongoing journey, not just a hospital stay. Click on the headline above to read Mr. Green’s full opinion column published in EHR Intelligence.

VIDEO: ITU Interview with Clint McClellan, President & Chairman, Continua Health Alliance
Interview with Clint McClellan, President & Chairman, Continua Health Alliance at the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) in Geneva, Switzerland. This five-minute interview of McClellan focuses on Continua’s collaboration with ITU’s eHealth projects. IHE Profiles are also referenced by Mr. McClellan. Click on the headline above to watch the YouTube video interview.

BLOG: EMR & Device Interoperability
By Scott Parker, MedCity News
In this post, I will share thoughts on the positive role medical devices can play in shaping the future of healthcare and its provision. Interoperability is the ability of systems, devices and processes to exchange data without the need for a specific location. Medical devices, especially the ones which have the ability to utilize the Internet are interoperable since they can share information across continents with ease. Click the link above to read more.

PODCAST: Advancing Technology to its Potential in Clinical Settings
Julian M. Goldman, MD a self-taught computer programmer discusses his unique perspective on innovative technologies and interoperability in clinical settings. Dr. Goldman is a practicing anesthesiologist, Medical Director of Partners Biomedical Engineering at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), and Director of Interoperability for the Medical Device Plug-and-Play Program within the Center for Integration of Medicine and Innovative Technology (CIMIT). Click on the headline above to listen to this 30 minute HIMSS Innovation Podcast on SoundCloud.

PANEL: Interoperability: A Critical Mess
By Gienna Shaw
I recently moderated a panel discussion on one of the most intractable problems in healthcare today: the ability--or lack thereof--to seamlessly share data across organizations, systems, platforms, devices and more. The live and online event on interoperability was hosted by West Health, a research organization that focuses on technologies to reduce healthcare costs. Click the headline above to read Ms. Shaw’s summary of the panel in FierceHealthIT.

*The views expressed in the above Interoperability Interchange opinion section are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of HIMSS.

Case Study: Allina Hospitals and Clinics. Download Now.


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Upcoming Events & Deadlines

Dec. 1-6
RSNA 2013 Annual Meeting
McCormick Place, Chicago

Dec. 8-11
mHealth Summit
Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center

Dec. 9
Early Bird Registration Ends at 11:59 pm

Dec. 9
Town Hall: Coordinated Federal mHealth Policies Toward Quality Outcomes
Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center

Dec. 11-12
iHT2 Health IT Summit
Austin, TX

Jan 23-24, 2014
HL7 Working Group Meeting
Long-Term Care CXO Summit, Las Vegas, NV

Jan. 27-31, 2014
IHE NA Connectathon 2014
Hyatt Regency Chicago, IL

Jan. 29, 2014
IHE NA Connectathon Conference 2014
Hyatt Regency Chicago, IL

Feb. 10-14, 2014
IHE Domain Volume One Technical Meeting
Technikum Wein College Campus in Vienna, Austria

Feb. 19-21, 2014
IHE World Summit
Rosen Centre Hotel Orlando, FL

Feb. 23, 2014
HIMSS14 Pre-conference Symposium: The Interoperability Explosion: Where We Are and Where We’re Headed
Orlando, FL

Feb. 23, 2014
HIMSS14 Pre-conference Symposium: Delivering on the Promise of HIE: Realizing Value through Innovation
Orlando, FL

Feb. 23-27, 2014
Orlando, FL

Feb. 24-26, 2014
HIMSS Interoperability Showcase at HIMSS14
Orlando, FL

Feb. 26, 2014
I&S Committee Networking Breakfast and Panel
Orlando, FL at HIMSS14


Disclaimer: 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
33 West Monroe Street, Suite 1700
Chicago, IL 60603-5616

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