Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Huge HIE -- the Care Continuity Consortium

The acceptance of IHE profiles for building federation of Health Information Exchanges has reached another milestone. The IHE XCA/XCPD profiles are at the core of the exchange. I worked with this group as an adviser on the standards and their use within the NwHIN-Exchange. I so wanted to blog about it, but needed to keep quiet until HIMSS 2012.

In April 2011 five leading US health systems joined forces to create the Care Continuity Consortium, and promised to achieve a clinically operational secured sharing of health information between them by early 2012, this seems an aggressive challenge. But it also drew some respect to see pioneers in the use of electronic medical records systems such as Geisinger Health System, Kaiser Permanente, Mayo Clinic, Intermountain Healthcare and Group Health Cooperative, engage into national level of information exchange. 

They committed to leverage existing standards and IHE profiles already selected by the Nation-wide Health Information Network (NwHIN-Exchange) to enable a national-scale health information query service. At HIMSS last month they showed how this group supports their clinicians in their practice to access patient summaries information from different health systems.

They are sending the message that the current available standards and profile, do work and can be successfully implemented. This interoperability serves well the clinicians, and patient consent can be managed effectively with large scale interoperability being a matter of political will.

Further development will continue to be done to dial in more and more functionality, efficiency, and privacy. An important message is that the system can fill a need, does support more use-cases than Direct, and is more automateible due to a mature metadata model.  

Add the CCC network to the likes of NwHIN-Exchange and the European wide epSOS. There are more to come, but of course I must keep them a secret.

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