News | February 18, 2015

IHE North American Connectathon 2015 Promotes Interoperability in Healthcare IT

More than 500 attendees participate in standards development, testing at new conference site in Cleveland

IHE, North American Connectathon 2015, Cleveland, information technology

February 18, 2015 — The spirit of collaboration to improve health with information technology came to Cleveland, Ohio, when the Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE) North American Connectathon 2015 opened in January 2015. Almost 100 organizations and 555 engineers attended this annual testing event.

After 16 years in Chicago, the event moved to downtown Cleveland, a transition bringing the North American Connectathon to the new co-located facilities of the Cleveland Convention Center and Global Center for Health Innovation, which is the location of the Healthcare Information Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Innovation Center.

“I’ve been attending IHE Connectathons for many years, as a vendor, a monitor and an initiative lead. The event at Cleveland this year was the best so far. Thanks to an effective and stable network, test environment and on-site management, we accomplished successful interoperability testing. All of this was facilitated by a new (sustainable) conference center with a permanent healthcare innovation wing,” said Eric Heflin, chief technology officer, Texas Health Services Authority.

This year's North American Connectathon included 98 participating organizations, with 148 health IT systems tested by 555 on-site participants, including 19-percent international attendance.

Various organizations came together during this week, which is designed to encourage and expand such alignment. Highlights included:

  • Standards development: IHE profiles leveraging HL7 FHIR technology were tested to securely share patient data on mobile devices.
  • Testing/Certification programs: HIMSS announced a new HIMSS Interoperability Services program that will include the IWG and IHE USA certification programs plus New Directions and pilot testing.
  • Government and Private/Public Sector: The Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Population Affairs, Centers for Disease Control, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC HIT), as well as public and private vendors, have collaborated to develop IHE profiles and test on-site.


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