Posting in Healthcare
What most successful RHIOs have in common is a key vendor driving the exchange process. In the case of western North Carolina it's IBM. The next step is combining regional efforts into a nationwide network so that if someone from Asheville turns Nashville into crashville, their records will find them before an EMT injects them with something they're allergic to.
Some cover states, some just parts of states. These are voluntary organizations of hospitals, doctors, and other stakeholders who agree, among one another, on how to move health data among them and then do it.
It's one of the smartest things going in health IT.
Sean Hogan, IBM vice president of health care delivery systems, points to the Western North Carolina Health Network as a success story.
What most successful RHIOs like this one have in common, however, is a key vendor driving the exchange process. In the case of WNCHN, of course, it's IBM.
Which leads to big problems taking the next step, combining RHIO efforts into a nationwide network so that if, say, someone from Asheville turns Nashville into crashville, their records will find them before an EMT injects them with something they're allergic to.
As an IBM spokesman told me just yesterday, "Vendors with a command and control approach to the marketplace see standards as a threat to their business models."
To return to the example above, if AT&T is the key vendor in Nashville and IBM is the key vendor in Asheville, someone has to spend their money to connect the systems, and someone has to compromise on their way of doing business.
Now Open Health Tools, which happens to be based in Asheville and was founded by the genius behind the Eclipse open source group, is making a new effort to herd these cats around open standards and open source.
They are working with Tim Elwell of Misys, an open source health tools vendor, to build components to integration patient profiles among health exchanges. The first such profile to be delivered, next February, will be one for cross-referencing patient records and queries on demographics -- age, sex, race, etc.
Asheville, after all, has to make sure the Bob Miller who crashed in Nashville is the 45 year old black factory worker in its records and not the 18 year old native American dancer from over in Cherokee.
This is the kind of cooperation, the kind of blocking and tackling, that will be necessary to beat down the walls between vendors and make health records work. The easy work has been done. Getting to work on the hard stuff now is pretty smart.
Jul 8, 2009
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Thanks for the shout out Dana. Our community has been hard at work to deliver the critical open source server components that Health Information Organizations need to create their exchanges. PIX/PDQ was actually made available in February 2009 so it's ready now. (Read about the release here: http://www.reuters.com/article/pressRelease/idUS176389+26-Feb-2009+BW20090226) For those who want to download the code, you may go here to the OHT site: https://openpixpdq.projects.openhealthtools.org/. CCHIT has included our version of PIX/PDQ in their Laika Test Suite to test all EHRs for 2009 certification. The community has also created and is testing an open source probabilistic eMPI that plugs into the PIX/PDQ...pretty cool stuff! By the end of July, we will release the XDS registry and repository components found here: https://openxds.projects.openhealthtools.org/. Our goal is to create a completely open IHE-compliant stack that will be able to commuicate with the Connect Gateway Code that the Feds released. We believe that an open source, standards-based, transparently-deleloped solution is that fastest (and best) way to solve the difficult interoperability issues that have plagued this industry. We are hoping more folks join this important effort. We encourage you all to check it out and to participate. Tim Elwell, VP, Misys Open Source Solutions, LLC email@example.com