On January 25-29 over 1000 health IT professionals gathered in Cleveland, Ohio to participate in the health information technology (HIT) industry’s largest collaboration, testing and education event the IHE North America Connectathon. This week long event provides developers a forum to advance interoperability for health information systems.
Why does interoperability matter when it comes to the sharing of health information? Interoperability enables interactions between disparate information systems without having to directly connect them through a hard-coded interfaces. This decoupled approach reduces dependencies and provides the ability to more easily exchange data with other healthcare systems. To provide interoperability, both semantic and syntactic interoperability need to be addressed. As we have seen in other industries, standards can be used to help address interoperability.
IHE standards address syntactic interoperability and provide some support for semantic interoperability. The focus of IHE testing is to ensure message standards are complete and that applications that implement the standards can interoperate. OpenHIE participation in connectathon allows testers and independent monitors to verify that the disparate OpenHIE reference systems can exchange information with other systems via the defined protocols.
OpenHIE community members came from around the globe to participate in this year’s North American Connectathon event to test standards that support OpenHIE workflows. OpenHIE focused on testing protocols related to:
For more information on IHE testing and conformance statements for previous connectathon testing, visit the OpenHIE Integration Statements page on our wiki.
|A common question we get is: “What is the OpenHIE initiative about?” The short answer would be that OpenHIE is about helping resource-constrained environments leverage their electronic health information by standardizing it. But it’s more involved than that…|
So what’s our approach? OpenHIE is a community of communities. We have organized various projects involved in standardizing health information into a common, scalable approach that has immediate pragmatic value for a whole host of real world health use cases. We’ve underpinned this technical approach with a series of experienced implementers of large scale interoperability projects, so that as countries come to our community with expressed needs, we can personalize an engagement strategy that simultaneously meets their immediate needs and further refines the technology and standards support for subsequent members of the community.
Want to learn more? Do you think we can support your country or project? Fill out our get involved page, we welcome you to to join our community!