Many EHR and EMR programs already have this functionality built in and years ago I wrote one, so registries are nothing new but are valuable as the reports, with graphic and visuals give the MD or practice a snapshot view on their own statistics.  This way they can see how many chronic illness patients they have, zero in on how they are treating patients with diabetes and heart problems as well.  The parameters for EHR system that already have this built in may vary a bit.  image

In addition this will offer a format through a portal whereby public reporting information can be sent.  The process will make this much easier than old paper methods that are in use and time consuming to create.  When reporting data only aggregated data will be sent to public reporting agencies, in other words individual patient names, etc. will not be there.  The whole key here is the ability to get the data into the reporting process with a simple user interface. 

When using a Registry you can see how the patient’s individual numbers compare overall to the entire practice.  I am also guessing in time there will be additional ways to compare a practice to numbers of those on a national average as well.  It will also be available through the Open Source CONNECT network for the purpose of sending data.  

The Health Internet – Government Looking to Expand The National Health Information Network For Public Useimage

The Open Source “Connect” community portal also has a plug in that can be used to transport the data.  We might be getting closer to actually having the National Health Information Network available for more public use.  

“How is popHealth related to CONNECT open source?

The popHealth software can be integrated with an EHR to extract patient health record data. The popHealth software has been designed to be flexible, and support a variety of transport protocols for reporting and exchanging the population health report artifacts. This includes integration with the CONNECT File Transfer Adapter plug-in, which will be demonstrated at the HIMSS 2010 Interoperability Showcase. Because of CONNECT's role integrating healthcare information technology data and transport standards, the popHealth software and project website are also available via the CONNECT open source website.image

The National Health Information Network already exists and to date has never been tested for the public to use, but the move to shift all of healthcare to it’s own network is a big one, so I would guess you could think of a separate entire entity here, used for healthcare information only.  The government has had several Code-A_Thons” for developers to write code and create new algorithms.  I wrote about this a short while back.  Doctors from the military currently use the network as well as Social Security to exchange medical record information.

“CONNECT is a Federal Health Architecture initiative to develop a federal software solution to link federal systems to the NHIN.  CONNECT was built in open source and has now been made available to the healthcare industry at large.  The CONNECT initiative takes the NHIN specifications and creates a production-ready open-source software solution that can be adopted by both federal and private entities. CONNECT provides a full software instantiation of the NHIN specifications and services.”

Ok after read this far, it looks confusing, not really, just a lot of information compressed into a small area.  The CONNECT software can be downloaded as well.  Much of this is still work in progress here, but some of the CONNECT features are usable.  You can see a list of who’s using it here and which companies have a plug in connection available, such as Epic and Kaiser Permanente for a couple examples.  BD 

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT began making available today open source software that will let physicians extract data automatically from their electronic health record systems and generate quality reports and analysis on their patients’ healthcare.

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The “popHealth” prototype software is designed to make it easier for providers to submit summary quality measures or data to public health organizations and federal agencies as part of their existing workflow, according to the ONC announcement.

popHealth will support other standards in the future as they are defined and developed.

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Providers may transmit the summary data to public health organizations and federal agencies via the Connect portal. Connect is a set of  tools to enable organizations to  exchange formatted health information securely through the Internet.

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To safeguard the privacy and security of patient information, popHealth will only use the aggregated report data when connecting to organizations outside the provider’s infrastructure, ONC said.

popHealth is be available online at http://www.projectpophealth.org/ .

http://www.govhealthit.com/newsitem.aspx?nid=73203

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