Webinar: Changes in store for Interoperability Showcase, IHE Connectathon

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Changes are comnig to the 2011 Interoperability Showcase and Connectathon events, said Celina Roth, HIMSS manager of informatics, IHE Secretariat, during a IHE [IIntegrating the Healthcare Experience] webinar Aug. 17.

The Interoperability Showcase at HIMSS11 will be extended one day due to popular demand, said Roth, and the Use Case selection process has been modified to add some flexibility to the process, to better reflect “what interoperability looks like in the real world.” In addition, some terminology has been changed to align with other healthcare organizations, she said.

Also new for the 2011 Interoperability Showcase:
  • A Connected Demonstration Area featuring live interoperability demonstrations by Leadership-level and Implementer-level participants.
  • Demonstrations of Communities of Care, teams of health-related services and facilities showing real-world interoperable systems. “We want to make demonstrations take after exactly what patients go through and what they see as they enter their local environment,” Roth said.
  • Live streaming video demonstrations at clinical deployment sites featuring U.S. hospitals and other clinical care settings that actively deploy IHE or ONC-recognized standards.
  • IHE Success Stories to be featured throughout HIMSS11 conference.
  • ‘Surf the Showcase’ stations where attendees can access and print Interoperability Showcase information.
In the past, Interoperability Showcase scenarios were determined after registration was closed, said Lisa Spellman, MBA, HIMSS senior director of informatics and staff liaison to IHE. “For 2011, however, we identified ahead of time the scenarios we would like,” said Spellman, adding that the scenarios, now called use cases, are based on variety of criteria—what’s important in U.S. healthcare: issues around meaningful use, quality reporting and outcomes measurement.

“We’re up to about 25 use cases focusing on meaningful use, medical devices, quality e-measures, patient care coordination, NHIN Exchange/CONNECT and NHIN Direct, interoperable clinical systems, interoperable EHRs/EMRs and PHRs, HIEs, public health biosurveillance and registries, laboratories.

IHE domains include Infrastructure, EMRs/EHRs, PHRs, Radiology, hospital information systems, patient care devices, quality research and public health, among others.

Participants identify their top three use cases as well as two more that are of interest, and select appropriate care settings. Care settings are paired with IHE actors. HIMSS11 care settings are posted for review here.

For the IHE 2011 North American Connectathon, to be held Jan. 17 to Jan. 21 in Chicago, a revamped registration system will pair participants’ systems with tests and possible partners, said Chris Carr, Radiological Society of North America director of informatics, IHE International Secretariat. The registration system, named Gazelle, should be operational by the end of the week, he said.

Prospective Connectathon participants should familiarize themselves with IHE terminology and know how to map their systems to IHE’s Actors/Profiles format. “Finding your role within Connectathon is a matter of matching capabilities of your system with the matrix of functionality defined by IHE,” said Carr.

Although Gazelle will map tests and partners, participants are responsible for reaching out to prospective partners and completing all required interoperability tests. IHE only records completed tests, so it’s important not to over-reach when registering. “IHE is collaborative, not competitive, and we want everyone to succeed,” said Carr. Only successful testing results are announced.

Connectathon participants should start planning now for the next six months and realistically allocate resources, Carr advised. Many profiles have a lot of sets of actors, and are complex bundles of functionality, he said.

The schedule of Connectathon deadlines and events will be published by Aug. 25, he said. Registration for the Interoperability Showcase and Connectathon North America opened Aug. 16 and closes Oct. 8. More information can be found on the IHE web site.