Open Health Tools Announces New Open Source Project that Will Help Run Health Information Exchanges and Create Unique Identifiers for the Healthcare Industry
Today, at its fourth-quarter board meeting, the Open Health Tools (OHT) Foundation approved a new project in principle for the development of server-based technology designed to create interoperability among disparate health information systems.
This technology is required to build standards-based Health Information Exchanges (HIEs). The project is expected to dramatically drive down the cost of interoperability components which have contributed to significant cost barriers for the HIEs in their development of standards-based solutions.
Led by Misys Open Source Solutions, a division of Misys plc, the company will work within the open source community to build server-side components for the Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE) profiles. The first deliverable will address the IHE profiles for patient identifier cross-referencing (PIX) and patient demographics query (PDQ). The plan calls for an operable beta version in February 2009.
Studies have indicated that a Nationwide Health Information Network is expected to reduce the cost of healthcare delivery by nearly $80 billion annually1.
IHE is an initiative by healthcare professionals and industry leaders to improve the way computer systems in the healthcare field share information. It promotes the coordinated use of established standards such as DICOM and HL7 to address specific clinical needs in support of optimal patient care. Systems developed in accordance with IHE standards are better able to communicate with one another and empower care providers to use information more effectively. Currently, IHE profiles are being used in the development of the Nationwide Health Information Network, which has demonstrated interoperability between several Regional Health Information Organizations (RHIOs).
Jonah Frohlich, California HealthCare Foundations senior program officer commented on CHCFs dedicated support of this project by stating: CHCF is dedicated to the promotion of open source development and is heartened that our code contributions will be able to improve the delivery of healthcare worldwide.
On Aug. 11, 2008, Open Health Tools (OHT) announced2 it had accepted a donation from CHCF of key software components from a $10 million health information exchange project. CHCF provided the softwares code to OHT to promote its open source platform and to accelerate the establishment of regional health information organizations, a critical but often missing piece of the health care delivery system.
CHCF is already catching the attention of significant open source supporters, and is supporting an upgrade and integration of the Care Data Exchange code to make it more robust and usable. The intent is to create sophisticated patient matching algorithms that will work with the new OHT project to create an open source, enterprise master person index (eMPI). An eMPI is required by any organization that intends to exchange or aggregate patient information among systems that do not share a unique patient identifier, i.e. a medical record number.
Open Health Tools CEO Skip McGaughey (previously the co-founder of Eclipse) stated, Open source is all about collaboration and is increasingly being recognized as the currency in the new economy. This project is all about meeting an industry need
and promoting standards that are needed to solve complex interoperability problems in healthcare. We are pleased that the community has chosen OHT to assist in this collaboration.
Tim Elwell, Misys Vice President of Open Source Solutions for Healthcare concluded, Misys is putting its money where its mouth is by dedicating key worldwide resources to contribute code and work on this project. We are so confident of its success that we have committed to demonstrating the project at the 2009 February Connectathon to be held in Chicago. After we complete this project, we hope to encourage the community to begin the creation of IHE Registries and Repositories and other server-based components that the industry needs.
Open Health Tools is a collaborative effort between national health agencies, major health care providers, researchers, academics, international standards bodies, and companies from Australia, Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, and other parts of Europe. Its goal is to develop common health care IT products and services and provide software tools and components that accelerate the implementation of electronic health information interoperability platforms, thus improving patient quality of care, safety, and access to electronic health records (EHRs).
Misys plc (FTSE: MSY.L), provides integrated, comprehensive solutions that deliver significant results to organizations in the financial services and healthcare industries. Misys maximizes value for their customers by combining a deep knowledge of their business with a commitment to their success.
In banking and treasury & capital markets, Misys is a market leader, with over 1,200 customers, including all of the worlds top 50 banks. In healthcare, Misys plc owns a controlling stake in NASDAQ-listed Allscripts-Misys Healthcare Solutions, Inc., a clear leader in the provision of healthcare technology, serving more than 150,000 physicians, 700 hospitals and nearly 7,000 post-acute and homecare organizations. Misys employs 6,000 people who serve customers in more than 120 countries.
Misys plc Open Source Solutions supports the Misys banking, treasury and capital markets and healthcare customers by leading the development of open source projects to create new services and applications that will address our industrys most difficult problems. Headquartered in New York, Misys Open Source Solutions is currently leading community-based open source projects to dramatically reduce atmospheric pollution and improve healthcare delivery.
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1 Jan Walker, Eric Pan, Douglas Johnson, Julia Adler-Milstein, David W. Bates, and Blackford Middleton, "The Value of Health Information Exchange and Interoperability," Marketwatch Health Tracking 19 Jan. 2005.
2 California HealthCare Foundation. "Open Health Tools Accepts Major Code Donation from California HealthCare Foundation." Press release. 11 Aug. 2008. California Healthcare Foundation. 29 Aug. 2008 http://www.chcf.org/.