HIMSS17: Interoperability and HIE Symposium

Editor’s Note: This is the first in a series of blog posts written by employees of Vermont Information Technology Leaders who are attending HIMSS17. This entry is written by Mark Daly, a programmer analyst at VITL.
This was an energetic, engaging, and very interesting symposium. The many sessions were well thought out and pertinent to today’s challenges with interoperability in the health information exchange (HIE) space. The speakers were many and varied, from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE), Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), private sector representatives, fellow HIEs such as Chesapeake Regional Information System for our Patients (CRISP) and Bronx RHIO, and consumer advocates such as Lygeia Ricciardi.
There were many provocative moments, but one of my favorites was when a fellow HIE representative from Kentucky explained to a panel of standards and certification experts that she has 62 providers in her state, all with 2014 Edition Certified Electronic Health Record Technology (CEHRT), that cannot connect to them, regardless how flexible they are to meet the need, and wanted to know which new certification would allow these providers to connect. That declaration was met with cheers and applause from the crowd of mostly HIE-related folks.
Also, another good one was a spirited conversation between Lygeia Ricciardi and Dr. Steven Lane who practices in Silicon Valley. They discussed—from the perspective of the patient and the provider—the use and evolution of interoperability in the care setting. Being a developer, this was especially fascinating to hear.
Overall, a solid day packed of information sharing, networking, expertise, knowledge and engagement.