HIMSS 2017 – ONC & FHA Highlight Innovations in Health Information Sharing

KUDOS once again to the IRIS Team supporting the HHS/Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) and the Federal Health Architecture (FHA) at the Annual HIMSS Conference held in Orlando, FL (February 19-23, 2017). Eric Larson, John Forrester, Alberto Llanes and Caitlin Ryan did outstanding work both behind the scenes and up-front and center in organizing, supporting and presenting at the Government Interoperability Showcase and the Federal Health IT Solutions Pavilion.

At HIMSS 2017, a fresh approach was taken in the FHA-sponsored Government Interoperability Showcase. Using a vignette format that linked the stories of multiple stakeholders, twenty-three demonstrations, occupying three vignettes, were presented at the health IT industry’s largest annual gathering.

Three vignette presentations showed the innovative ways that federal agencies and other industry stakeholders are enabling patients, federal agencies and healthcare providers to securely share health data. The United States Postal Service (USPS), the Department of Defense (DoD), and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) demonstrated how veterans and service members can efficiently access and input their own health information from multiple sources.

In a live demonstration of data transmission, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the Michigan Health Information Network (MiHIN), and the CONNECT gateway, demonstrated how sensitive health information can be transmitted securely between public and private institutions. Live speaker presentations featured ONC and FHA collaboration on interoperability initiatives (“ONC and FHA: Government Collaboration in Action,”) and organizational and technical insights on consent management and exchange that will support implementation of privacy regulations (“Patient Privacy Choice”).

Also featured was the first of three live speaker presentations, “Veterans Administration Interoperability Efforts”, showing the VA’s successful transition to Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR). It covered issues, concerns, lessons learned, and current FHIR implementations taking place throughout the VHA enterprise.

The third vignette presentation by ONC, NYC Department of Health, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), California Department of Health and the University of California-Davis highlighted multiple Use Cases focused on public health data collecting and reporting using the latest innovative solutions.

Meanwhile, in the Federal Health IT Solutions Pavilion, the FHA team introduced the program to public and private sector parties, discussed the federal health environment, detailed FHA’s various initiatives and milestones, and connected the FHA’s federal partners with other federal, state and public health industries players.

FHA sponsored speaking sessions on “Leveraging Enterprise Architecture for the Federal Partners”, which discussed the development of enterprise architectural solutions for the government’s biggest challenges in health IT, and “A Health Enterprise Reference Architecture,” presented by Jason Lee, Director of the Open Group Forum, which reviewed the Open Group’s reference architectural tool currently under development to help businesses and organizations initiate successful transformation and achieve business goals.

John Forrester, PM (IRIS) presenting Federal Health Architecture’s structured process for analyzing and presenting opportunities for federal, state, local, tribal and private health participants to engage and streamline information exchange criteria.

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