Open Source's Role in CONNECTing the Public and Private Sector Healthcare Community

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CONNECT is an open source software gateway that allows health organizations to securely exchange health-related information with each other using nationally recognized standards – whether across the street or across the country. Originally built by more than 20 federal agencies, this software solution uses Nationwide Health Information Network standards and governance as a framework to connect providers, insurers, federal agencies, states and others involved in supporting health and healthcare.
Rather than develop dozens of independent and proprietary solutions with identical and redundant functionality, federal agencies built CONNECT through the Federal Health Architecture program (an E-Gov initiative). The agencies delivered CONNECT in 2009, and today the open source solution is available to any organization for use free of charge.
With the public launch of CONNECT, the Federal Health Architecture concurrently began the CONNECT Open Source Community and began recruiting participation from healthcare providers and payors, states, IT vendors and other stakeholders. Today the community is comprised of more than 500 organizations and is growing rapidly.
The CONNECT software and the community are “open” in every sense of the word. The software development process, technology needs definition and even the software itself is open to the community for discussion, improvement and contribution. Anyone with a stake in health IT is welcome to participate and have a voice in a solution that will impact the future of health IT in the U.S.
This level of openness and collaboration is unchartered territory for the federal government and is already delivering benefits for healthcare organizations, and ultimately for patients.
This session will provide attendees with an update on the CONNECT technology solution; an overview of how organizations are using the solution to create health information exchanges and tie into Nationwide Health Information Network based exchanges; an outline of the benefits of participation in these exchanges for patients, care providers, payors, states and other health stakeholders; details on the benefits that a nationwide network of interoperable health IT will provide to citizens (ranging from improved healthcare and faster benefits administration to more quickly identifying and addressing public health emergencies); and an overview of the CONNECT Community.