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Big health systems to promote connectivity

Geisinger Health System, Group Health Cooperative, Intermountain Healthcare, Kaiser Permanente and the Mayo Clinic will join together to promote sharing of electronic health data as part of a new organization called the Care Connectivity Consortium. The formal launch is set for 9 a.m. EDT Wednesday at the National Press Club in Washington, and the event will be webcast here.

According to a media advisory, the Care Connectivity Consortium is “a historic interoperability collaboration among five of the nation’s leading health systems to securely share electronic health information and best practices.” Executives from the organizations will be on hand to “will discuss the goals of the consortium, how sharing electronic health data supports high quality, patient-centered care, and the possibility of sharing electronic data in a secure environment.”

It sounds intriguing, but the five participants don’t have much geographic overlap, save for Kaiser’s reciprocal care agreement with Group Health in the Seattle area. Don’t expect any overnight miracles.

That aside, I’d really like to know the standards they’ll be using for data sharing. If they pick something that’s unformatted text, à la Blue Button, this initiative might be doomed to failure.

UPDATE 12:30 p.m. CDT: A publicist for the consortium tells me that the health systems will be following NHIN protocols for data sharing.

April 4, 2011 I Written By

I'm a freelance healthcare journalist, specializing in health IT, mobile health, healthcare quality, hospital/physician practice management and healthcare finance.

I don’t usually do this, but …

I’m experimenting with different kinds of posts. Here’s one I don’t often do: personnel announcements.

Denver-based Catholic Health Initiatives has taken the “interim” tag off Michael O’Rourke, naming him senior VP and CIO of the 77-hospital organization. O’Rourke, 56, had been interim CIO since August 2007. He previously led IT operations at Triad Hospitals, which became part of Community Health Systems in July 2007.

Also, health information exchange vendor Axolotl created a dedicated development team to assist the New York State Department of Health and the New York eHealth Collaborative in the building of the proposed Statewide Health Information Network for New York (SHIN-NY).

Sean Smith, developer of Axolotl’s Information Health Exchange (IHE) prototypes, will head the four-person team. Also named to the team was health information exchange expert Justin Pun. Axolotl did not identify the other SHIN-NY developers, but said that the team will report to Director of Application Development Lin Wan, Ph.D.

February 10, 2009 I Written By

I'm a freelance healthcare journalist, specializing in health IT, mobile health, healthcare quality, hospital/physician practice management and healthcare finance.

Not going quietly

Just when you thought the Bush administration was counting its last days, I get a media advisory that says: “HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt to Deliver Major Address on Protecting Privacy, Expanding the Use of Personal Health Records.”

Leavitt is keynoting the Fifth Annual Nationwide Health Information Network (NHIN) Forum on Monday morning in Washington. According to the advisory, “Secretary Leavitt is expected to announce principles and resources to address privacy and the exchange of electronic health information.”

I won’t be there, but Monday’s keynote will be Webcast starting at 8:30 a.m. EST, as will the closing plenary on Tuesday at noon EST.

December 14, 2008 I Written By

I'm a freelance healthcare journalist, specializing in health IT, mobile health, healthcare quality, hospital/physician practice management and healthcare finance.