HL7, IHE and EHRVA unite to tackle interoperability challenges

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HIT systems, Health Level Seven (HL7), Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE) and the HIMSS Electronic Health Record Vendor Association (EHRVA) have formed an Interoperability Collaborative to confront what the organizations call “market forces” that are driving a demand for interoperability between systems, according to a joint release from the organizations.
    At the core of the Interoperability Collaborative is the agreement that in order to achieve true connectivity there must be healthcare data exchange priorities, a defined a roadmap and established the standards that enable steady progress, the organizations said.
    The Interoperability Collaborative was first formed a year ago through an agreement among HL7, IHE and EHRVA. The organization has already created a Consensus Statement in Support of Standardization as well as support for launch of the IHE Patient Care Coordination Domain, which helped implement summary documents based on the HL7 Clinical Document Architecture (CDA). The EHRVA Interoperability Roadmap, a technical framework, is currently being reviewed by organization members. Future initiatives include educational outreach, Hurricane Katrina relief support projects and ongoing response to global needs for patient information management.
    Interoperability Collaborative members are working together during the IHE Interoperability Showcase at HIMSS to demonstrate capabilities that support the sharing of patient health information in a RHIO network.
The Interoperability Collaborative also supports the work of the American Health Information Community (AHIC) and the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC), in particular through participation on the Healthcare Information Technology Standards Panel (HITSP), the Certification Commission on Health Information Technology (CCHIT) and national health information network (NHIN) prototypes.