Vendors flock to HHS's health information exchange

HHS' Connect software for health information exchange has been distributed to hundreds of organizations that who are starting to use it.

The Health and Human Services Department has signed up 506 vendors to furthering develop of HHS’ open-source Connect software suite for secure health information exchange, according to agency officials.

Another 300 organizations, including federal, state and local agencies, non-profit organizations and academic institutions, also are taking part in activities to expand and extend Connect’s reach, David Riley, HHS’ Connect leader, said at a forum Oct. 30.

Connect is an open-source application developed for secure information exchange as part of HHS’ Nationwide Health Information Network. HHS originally created it for the 20 federal agencies participating in the NHIN, but the system can be adapted for use with other health information exchanges. Several vendors and agencies have begun testing applications for Connect and some are developing services that can be added to the platform, Riley said.

The goal is for private sector hospitals, doctors and insurers to use Connect for exchanging data, and eventually to become part of the NHIN, Riley said on Oct. 30 at a forum Harris Corp. organized. Harris was a key player in Connect's initial development. 

Federal officials are encouraging vendors and agencies to adapt Connect for their medical data exchange needs and to develop additional services. So far, a handful of federal agencies including the Social Security Administration, are using Connect and the NHIN on a regular basis, and members of a broader vendor and agency community are experimenting with various uses.

“We are trying to knock down the barriers to adoption,” Riley said. “We hope Connect will be ubiquitous in five years.”

Vish Sankaran, program director for the Federal Health Architecture, which supports both Connect and the NHIN, said that with 20 federal agencies committed, including the Defense and Veterans Affairs departments, eventually the private sector will migrate toward a health information exchange architecture that is compatible with Connect and NHIN.

“Our role is to tip the market,” Sankaran said. “We expect to see more momentum.”

HHS in July hired an open-source developer, Brian Behlendorf, to help with Connect, said Ivy Ackerman, a spokeswoman for the Connect program. Behlendorf is the founder of the Apache Web server software and a board member for the Mozilla Foundation.

In November, about 130 software programmers will meet in Oregon for Connect’s second code-a-thon in which the volunteer programmers will jointly upgrade and update the software.

The point of open-source is to try to replicate the successful technologies on the Internet, such as e-mail and Web servers and browsers, Behlendorf said at the forum.

By bringing in freelance programmers, software developers, volunteers and vendors to work on its code, Connect will benefit from a “gigantic commercial ecosystem” that eventually will spin off many additional solutions for electronic health records, Behlendorf said.

The vendors will develop health data exchange solutions that use Connect at a local level, in many cases, which later can be integrated into the NHIN, which will function as a a network-of-networks, he added.

“We are sending a clear message that this is innovation from below, “ Behlendorf said.

The prime use of Connect for now is  to transfer summaries of clinical care. However, the 3.0 version, set for release next year, will include administrative features, such as eligibility determination data, Riley said.

Eventually Connect will carry data for all aspects of electronic health records, including prescriptions, images and lab results, he said.

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.