Thursday, November 17, 2011

Interesting Developments In Standards Around Health Information Exchange. Might Be Useful To Review!

The following article appeared last week.

Progress On Health Data Exchange Specs

Seven states, eight e-health records vendors, and three health information exchange providers agree to support interoperability standards that also could make health data exchange easier nationally.
By Marianne Kolbasuk McGee,  InformationWeek
November 08, 2011
Seven states and 11 health IT vendors have banded together to support a set of technical specifications to standardize health data sharing among healthcare providers, health information exchanges, and other parties.
A bigger vision being eyed by the group is for the set of technical standards to gain support from other states and EHR and HIE product vendors so that the specs help in the country's loftier goal of health data exchange among healthcare providers nationwide.
The specifications, available at, are the result of a workgroup originally launched in April by the New York eHealth Collaborative (NYeC). Besides New York, the other members of the group include federally designated entities or HIEs in six other states--California, Colorado, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Oregon.
Together, those seven states represent about 30% of the U.S. population. That chunk of the population, along with the several big-name health IT vendors pledging to support the standards, could help motivate compliance from other states, EHR vendors, and HIEs in also implementing the defacto specifications, potentially easing barriers of nationwide health data exchange.
Among the vendors supporting the standards are EHR providers including Allscripts, eClinicalWorks, e-MDs, Greenway Medical Technologies, McKesson Physician Practice Solutions, NextGen Healthcare, Sage Healthcare Division, and Siemens Healthcare.
In addition, there are three HIE services vendors participating: Axolotl, InterSystems, and Medicity.
"I am encouraged by and excited about this type of collaboration, which has the potential to advance real-world pilots, implementation and feedback on standards for health information exchange," said Dr. Doug Fridsma, director of the office of standards and interoperability at the Office of the National Coordinator of Health Information Technology in a statement. "The results of this kind of initiative can help us advance health IT nationwide."
The specifications make it easier for clinicians to have two important basic health-data-exchange capabilities: patient record look-up and point-to-point, or direct, data sharing, said Whitlinger.
More here:
There is also some useful coverage here:

Agreement reached on interoperability specs

Posted: November 8, 2011 - 11:15 am ET
A multistate collaboration with multiple health information technology vendors has produced a pair of interoperability specifications to facilitate health information exchange based on the Health Level 7 Continuity of Care Document, a work group that developed the specifications has announced.
The first specification relates to Statewide Send and Receive Patient Record Exchange, which enables encrypted information exchange over the Internet. A second specification is for the Statewide Patient Data Inquiry, which allows a provider to query a health information exchange for records on a specific patient.

More here:
The web-site that has been established to make the specifications available is well worth a visit.
It is found here:
The mix of Health Information Exchanges / Clinical System Providers and Health Information Exchange Software Providers provides some impressive coverage of the US scene.
The specs are easily downloadable from the site and build on the ONC Direct Protocols.
The approach to the various flavours of CDA is of interest - I had not realised how many different flavours were out there!
All grist to the mill showing how people are solving common problems.

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