IHE to let attendees star in interoperability plays
Attendees of this week’s Integrating the Healthcare Enterpise (IHE) Showcase in at HIMSS 2007 in New Orleans will be given the opportunity to take the lead role in would-be interoperability plays.

IHE is using a “Playbill concept to simulate patients following their healthcare record through the continuum of care,” said Didi Davis, director, IHE, HIMSS. “Seeing it is worth a thousand words” and should make it clear how IHE initiatives can help them, she added.

Seventy-six organizations are participating in the Showcase this year which is a rise from the 60 that participated last year. The event has also grown in floor space, now comprising 9,000 sq. ft., whereas in its earlier days it took up just 2,000. This speaks a great deal to the rising prominence that IHE is playing in the industry.

Attendees have various options regarding the types of tours they can do, including guided tours or self-guided tours. Continuing with the theater theme, a 24-page playbill-style brochure will be provided to visitors that will provide information regarding all the aspects of the Showcase, which spells out all of the assorted acronyms that are part of the demonstration, and guidance regarding the scenarios that will be played out.

“Since we have so many vendors this year we are putting them in different ‘casts’,” said Davis. Each ‘cast’ will participate in different play-like scenarios which will give attendees a chance, especially if they go through more than once, to see the workflow as performed with various electronic health records from different vendors.

Attendees that register at one of the showcase’s kiosks will create a fictional patient identity with “bogus images, referrals, and labs,” Davis said. Each fictional patient will then be admitted into every vendor system.

Potentially, if you went to all the vendors throughout the week you could watch them all create documents and then watch as they are aggregated, Davis said.

Before even going through the vendor demonstrations attendees have the opportunity to view a plethora of presentations, some with the purpose of preparing attendees for the tours, while others will be by participating organizations or on IHE education or domain topics.

Davis also said that IHE is putting a special emphasis on privacy and security for the event this week, addressing topics such as patient empowerment, vendor audits, as well as security certification.

Moreover, all of the vendor systems this year must operate securely, whereas during the 2005 showcase none of the transactions were required to be secure, and last year only some of them were.

And for interested individuals not able to attend this year’s Showcase there’s good news. Video of the event will be captured this week and included in a HIMSS virtual conference to take place in June, Davis said.

Look for the IHE Showcase at booth  7511 in Hall J.