Interoperability going gangbusters

Showcase draws crowds as interoperability gains year-round home

The Interoperability Showcase saw brisk business Monday at HIMSS13, drawing crowds for tours of 18 kiosks, each demonstrating unique interoperability use cases, while across the way speakers were scheduled every half hour to talk about interoperability. On yet another adjoining piece of the show floor, the spotlight was on the HIMSS Innovation Center, slated to open in Cleveland next October.

The use cases included “Improving Population Health via Biosurveillance Monitoring & Detection,” “Enhancing Patient Care through Connected Health,” and “Health Story: New Approaches for Coordinating Long-Term & Cancer Care.”

Todd Cooper, principal of the Interoperability Showcase, presented at “Medical Device Integration – Completing the Last Mile.” Cooper demonstrated how a device interface routes an alarm.

Cooper tossed a phone to an attendee, who received the alarm within seconds.

“It went from the device interface all the way through the system,” Cooper explained. “Actually it comes through AT&T.”

There were dozens of demonstrations like this one happening simultaneously at each site within the showcase.

The Interoperability Showcase, while continuing to be part of the HIMSS Annual Conference and Exhibition, will also have a permanent home at the HIMSS Innovation Center within the Global Center for Innovation in Cleveland.

As HIMSS CEO H. Stephen Lieber sees it, making interoperability testing available year-round will introduce new possibilities.

“It will enable HIMSS to provide much better ongoing information about how products work with one another, he said when he revealed the plans on February 19. Cooper said Monday access to the showcase throughout the year would be welcome by providers who might want to test a product for interoperability with their EHR – infusion pumps, for instance.

At the HIMSS Innovation Center, the HIMSS Integrated Ecosystem will enable the collaboration of industry leaders and provide interactive demonstrations that will give the system buyers the confidence they need to make good decisions, according to the HIMSS video.

At the speaker’s platform, Mark Dente, MD, chief medical informatics officer at GE Healthcare, told the audience, “That ability to connect across vendors is something we’re committed to.” Even as he spoke, a news conference of EHR vendors McKesson, Cerner, athenahealth, Allscripts and Greenway announced an alliance to “define, promote and certify a national infrastructure with common platforms and policies.”