Interoperability made real

Lawmakers, staffers, public attendees get first-hand look at Interoperability Showcase
By Diana Manos
11:02 AM
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HIMSS Interoperability Showcase

The HIMSS Interoperability Showcase, held on Capitol Hill Sept. 17 and 18 was a highlight of this year’s annual National Health IT Week, educating some five hundred members of the public, congressional staffers and members of Congress about health IT.

Attendees of the two-day demonstration witnessed how products and services from collaborators in the HIMSS Innovation Center integrate to enable major initiatives such as IHE, Healtheway, and meaningful use. HIMSS officials say they hope the showcase gives policymakers a glimpse into systems to show them the value of health IT. 

The HIMSS Innovation Center, to open this October in Cleveland, is expected to be the first-of-its-kind, providing a year-round facility to foster collaborative testing and demonstration of how interoperable systems improve the quality and efficiency of care for patients and communities.

Founding collaborators of the HIMSS Innovation Center include healthit.gov, Alego Health and Federal Health Architecture. Industry collaborator Fujitsu is joined on the project by supporting collaborators Cardinal Health, Juniper Networks, and Total Voice Technologies.

At a press conference held Sept. 18 at the Interoperability Showcase, Scott MacLean, chair of the HIMSS Board of Directors and deputy CIO and director of IS operations at Partners Healthcare in Boston, praised the clinicians leading the digital transition at healthcare facilities across the country.

“For those undertaking this task, I can assure you that the benefits are huge—and will keep all of our patients healthier,” he said.

“Policymakers are asking questions about the value of Health IT and whether their investment is working. Great question! The answer is `yes,’” MacLean said. “Health IT contributes to better outcomes for patients, greater access to care, a healthier population, and care that is more cost-effective.”

“Right here in this room today, we have examples of how health IT works,” he said. “The HIMSS Interoperability Showcase demonstrates standards-based solutions that make health information exchange real between systems, providers and organizations to improve patient care.”

[See also: ONC launches eHealth resource site.]