'Connectathon' tests 150 HIT systems for compliance, interoperability

February 25, 2010

More than 150 health information technology systems from 104 participating companies and organizations, including vendors, health information exchanges, government agencies, and open-source development groups, were tested recently at IHE North America?s annual Connectathon. Results are posted here.

More than 150 health information technology systems from 104 participating companies and organizations, including vendors, health information exchanges, government agencies, and open-source development groups, were tested recently at IHE North America's annual Connectathon. Results are posted here.

At the event, HIT systems are tested to foster compliance with standards, electronic health record system connectivity, and interoperable exchange of patient health information. Many of the capabilities tested at the Connectathon are closely aligned with the criteria for achieving "meaningful use" of electronic health records recently published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

"Since its inception in 1999, the Connectathon has been a catalyst for a connected healthcare system, providing an opportunity for participants to test the interoperability of their systems with partners," Joyce Sensmeier, MS, RN-BC, CPHIMS, FHIMSS, vice president, informatics, Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, said in a prepared statement.

Engineers performed compliance tests and exchanged information with complementary systems from other organizations. Each system was tested for successful performance of roles carefully defined by IHE profiles, which are implementation guides for the use of established standards to address specific clinical use cases for information sharing.

Systems were tested from across the spectrum of care, including the IHE domains of cardiology; IT infrastructure; pathology; patient care coordination; patient care devices; quality, research, and public health; and radiology. In each domain, participants tested the ability of their systems to interoperate and exchange information in support of typical clinical scenarios. IHE profiles have provided the foundation for national electronic health record deployment standards and health information exchanges in the United States, Canada, and around the world.

"The recurring IHE Connectathon is a fundamental process to promote HIT interoperability," said David S. Mendelson, MD, professor of radiology and chief of clinical informatics at Mt. Sinai Medical Center and co-chairman of the IHE International board. "Effective sharing of health information will only be achieved by providing the community a forum to test their solutions and determine that they comply with accepted standards and are truly interoperable."