Interoperability tools to storm HIMSS15

This year’s conference will house 40,000-square feet of interoperability in action
By Chris Nerney
08:03 AM

Interoperability: It’s both bane and Holy Grail of the healthcare ecosystem.

And as the needs of providers become increasingly dependent on emerging technologies, standards bodies and health IT vendors are responding by helping to build an interoperable health IT infrastructure.

Indeed, as national coordinator Karen DeSalvo, MD, explained during a late January public meeting health information is already being exchanged in regions from which national efforts can draw both inspiration and business models.

The HIMSS Interoperability Showcase at HIMSS15, held in collaboration with Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise, aka IHE, will offer a first-hand glimpse at how interoperability enables health and clinical information to be successfully delivered in a variety of healthcare settings.

What’s more, it’s the largest landmark on the exhibit floor.

“Imagine entering a 40,000-square-foot space, almost the size of a ballroom,” says Sandra Vance, senior director of interoperability initiatives at HIMSS. Within that area will be more than 20 “rooms” in which vendors have set up demonstrations of interoperability in multiple care settings.

“Some might represent an emergency department, an intensive care unit, an infusion clinic, primary care practices, an example of revenue cycle or front-office type of activity,” Vance says. “You can actually walk into these rooms and see how the systems work together to improve physician workflow, patient care, patient outcomes and patient satisfaction.”

The showcase is being sponsored by more than 50 companies, including a veritable who’s who of health IT vendors: Allscripts, CareFusion, EMC, Epic, GE, Hyland, Infor, InterSystems, McKesson, Merge, Optum, Oracle, to name just a few.

Reading and hearing about interoperability only gives healthcare providers a one-dimensional view of the process. Vance says that when attendees “are able to sit down in an infusion chair and be told, ‘Your doctor sent your stuff from here to here, and this is how the standards have enabled this information exchange,’ it will bring home how each care setting has impacted the patients.”

This year’s showcase will feature some brand new innovations in healthcare interoperability as well, Vance says, “including one that has just been approved by the FDA.”

To find out more about that, visit the Interoperability Showcase in the South Building, Hall A, Booth 2084.

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