NHIN, the National Health Information Network, is something you’ll need to be familiar with if you’re doing any work in the healthcare IT industry. Next week at the Government Health IT Conference & Expo in Washington D.C you’ll be able to get technical overview of NHIN and related subprojects called NHIN CONNECT and NHIN Direct. You can use CONNECT right now to create your own health information exchange (HIE) or connect to an existing HIE. NHIN Direct is new and doesn’t have immediately usable code but when it’s ready you’ll be able to use it to push or pull data from your medical systems to other healthcare systems directly (without necessarily going through an HIE). NHIN Direct is worth following for all engineers in the healthcare space; NHIN CONNECT is worth following for those that are specifically in the HIE space.
Here’s information from a recent press communication on the topic by Spire Communications (thanks to Jim Lubinskas):
On Wednesday, June 16, Dr. Doug Fridsma, acting director of the Office of Interoperability and Standards in the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, will give a keynote address at 12:45 p.m. on the new NHIN Direct project. He oversees all NHIN program activities and will talk about upcoming plans for the NHIN and the NHIN Direct Project. Not only is the NHIN Direct Project a highly-newsworthy development, Dr. Fridsma does a great job of clearly describing the initiative in easily understood terms.
The NHIN Direct Project was created to help expand the adoption of the NHIN and support meaningful use requirements for 2011. The NHIN program is focused on supporting all levels of health information exchange, from the simple to the sophisticated, and the NHIN Direct Project focuses on making sure that even very simple health data exchanges are achieved easily with the right level of security and using national standards.
On Tuesday, June 15, Dave Riley, the CONNECT lead within the Federal Health Architecture, will deliver a presentation at 11:00 am entitled: “Open Source’s Role in CONNECTing the Public and Private Sector Healthcare Community.” He will discuss how CONNECT brings a new level of openness and collaboration to health IT – fairly unchartered territory for the federal government — and how it is already delivering benefits for healthcare organizations and patients.
CONNECT, built by more than 20 federal agencies, uses Nationwide Health Information Network (NHIN) standards and governance as a framework to connect providers, insurers, federal agencies, states and others involved in supporting health and healthcare. Today, the open source solution is available to any organization for use free of charge. The newest version of CONNECT – 3.0 – will be released the same day (June 15) and will help end users meet the 2011 Meaningful Use criteria outlined by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT.
These Government Health IT sessions provide attendees with an update on the NHIN Direct and CONNECT technology solution; an overview of how organizations are using the solutions to create health information exchanges and tie into the NHIN; an outline of the benefits of participation in the NHIN to patients, care providers, payors, states and other health stakeholders; details on the benefits that a nationwide network of interoperable health IT will provide to citizens (ranging from improved healthcare and faster benefits administration to more quickly identifying and addressing public health emergencies); and an overview of the CONNECT Community.