The 16th annual IHE North American Connectathon, health information technology’s (HIT) largest interoperability testing event, was held Jan. 27-Jan. 31, in Chicago. The event allows vendors from across healthcare to test implementations of IHE Profiles and their ability to connect effectively with industry peers. One hundred-forty systems from 97 companies were tested at this year’s event.
Connectathon testing helps the HIT industry achieve the level of interoperability needed to meet the demands of healthcare providers and patients for convenient, secure access to electronic health records (EHRs). The event has also become an important milestone for HIT standards bodies, emerging health information organizations (HIOs) and government agencies, whose success relies on achieving effective interoperability of HIT systems.
This was apparent as users and developers of these systems gathered at the Connectathon Conference on Jan. 29. The educational and networking event featured success stories and best practice examples of agencies and organizations achieving information exchange and improving patient outcomes while realizing the value of health IT.
Doug Fridsma, M.D., Ph.D., director of Science and Technology in the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, delivered the keynote address, “Strategy and Principles to Accelerate Health Information Exchanges and Interoperability” while Eric Heflin, CTO at Healtheway, a nationwide HIO, described Connectathon testing as part of the foundation of his organization’s plans for success.
RSNA and the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) have been sponsors of the Connectathon since its inception in 1999. The first several events were held at RSNA headquarters in Oak Brook, Ill. Next year, for the first time, the Connectathon will be held at the HIMSS Innovation Center in Cleveland, Ohio. Connectathons are also held annually in Europe, Japan and Korea.
For more information on IHE, go to RSNA.org/ihe.aspx.
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