This is a nice welcome as it will enable more providers, hospitals and so forth to connect and share medical information securely. From a data standpoint this is interesting that the two areas of code are being separated so I am guessing we have a little bit more on the back end with changing the front end to have fewer working parts as far as creating the ability to use the NwHIN network. Below is a map that shows some of the work in progress with practices and other healthcare IT entities connected t the NwHIN system. BD
Hospitals and Providers Using NHIN (Nationwide Health Information Network) To Connect and Share Medical Records With the VA and DOD And Even With Each Other
One does not need the CONNECT protocol to connect to the NwHIN but an open source project that all can contribute to is certainly a winner. BD
“CONNECT is an open source software and community that promotes IT interoperability in the U.S. healthcare system. CONNECT enables secure electronic health data exchange among healthcare providers, insurers, government agencies and consumer services. CONNECT 3.3 includes new features, support for new NwHIN technical specification for health information exchange, and more. “
ARLINGTON, VA – The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT has made available the next version of the Connect gateway software that incorporates the most up-to date technical standards and descriptions for the nationwide health information network (NwHIN) Exchange to support functions like patient discovery and query for and retrieve documents.
Connect gateway and adapter software uses NwHIN standards and services to enable healthcare organizations and federal agencies to share patient information securely through the Internet.
We plan to separate out the gateway from the adapter lines of code, which are fairly tightly coupled. That means it’s been difficult to implement for many organizations,” Thompson said at a March 15 conference about military electronic health records (EHRs).
The NwHIN Exchange has been an organization for advanced exchange for primarily federal agencies and large healthcare organizations because of a requirement that limited participants to federal contractors or grantees.
It has 25 partners including DOD and VA, which uses NwHIN to share information at 11 virtual lifetime electronic record (VLER) sites, and the Social Security Administration, which has 300 provider organizations exchanging data to accelerate disability determinations.
More changes are coming. By December, ONC will move Connect out of its purview to a distributed development program in an open source community and is considering a variety of organizational approaches, including adopting a custodial agent process, similar to the Veterans Affairs and Defense Departments to develop their integrated EHR.