Posted by: RedaChouffani
CONNECT, NHIN, ONC
On March 16, the ONC announced the availability of Connect 3.3, the open source software solution that supports the health information exchange of protected health information (PHI) both locally (regionally through community based groups) and nationally. It has been developed using the Nationwide Health Information Network (NwHIN) standards.
Currently, there are over 44 organizations — including health systems and IDNs, HMOs, software vendors, and public and federal entities — who are either in the planning phases or have already implemented the CONNECT platform. And as the product continues to receive enhancements — and being that it is free of charge — CONNECT will continue to see a growing number of organizations pilot and implement it in a production environment.
The current Connect 3.3 release comes with many enhancements, including:
- Complying with July 2011 Approved Nationwide Health Information Network Specifications
- Creating Backwards Compatibility between the January 2010 and July 2011 Nationwide Health Information Network Specifications and among CONNECT Versions
- Incorporating Technology Stack Upgrades
- Implementing a Configurable Set of Services for Targeted Selection during Installation
- Providing Parallel Message Initiation and Processing (Fan Out)
- Preparing CONNECT for a Clustered Environment
- Providing Performance-Related Configurable Parameters
- Enhancing Implementation Instructions
Theses changes represent new features, bug fixes as well as performance improvement enhancements.
With the release of the NPRM for meaningful use stage 2 criteria, the exchange health information becomes a requirement in order to be qualified for incentive payment. This puts CONNECT and the Direct Project as the required communication protocols that all EHR vendors need to use for compliance.