10 States Now Unified to Standardize Health Data Interoperability

Workgroup now consists of 10 states and 26 vendors agreeing to standard specifications, best practices to enable easy sharing of electronic records

New York, NY – The effort to eliminate barriers to sharing electronic health records (EHRs) continues to pick up momentum, with 10 states and 26 vendors now signed on to create standard specifications to allow “out of the box” connectivity between health information exchanges (HIEs) and EHRs.

Realizing that merging efforts with other states would create economies of scale and provide the vendor community with a single, consistent set of specifications, the New York State-based New York eHealth Collaborative (NYeC) created the EHR/HIE Interoperability Workgroup last year.

The workgroup—which includes states and vendors—built on current standards to simplify and align EHR and HIE development processes and ultimately form a strong marketplace for integrated, connected systems. The intended result is a set of more robust EHR products with integrated capabilities so that providers can connect to HIE services across the country with minimum cost and effort.

Originally, the workgroup consisted of 7 states and 11 vendors, who worked together to create some initial functional and technical specifications, announced last November. Since then, the group has added states representing an additional 10% of the U.S. population and 15 more vendors (see chart below). In all, the area represented by the workgroup states now covers more than 30% of the country’s population.

“The collaboration between the states and vendors to address a shared marketplace gap and work towards a mutual vision has been one of the remarkable aspects of this effort,” said David Whitlinger, Executive Director of NYeC. “And momentum is building within both communities as states grow their HIE networks by working with the EHR vendor community to provide seamless integration and seamless clinical workflow.”

Test compliance specifications are currently being developed by the workgroup and will be completed by March 30. These specifications can be used by state HIE programs, nationwide Regional Extension Centers, and others to establish proof of a vendor’s “plug-and-play” interoperability.

Anuj Desai, NYeC’s Director of Business Development, will be speaking about the workgroup and its work at HIMSS in Las Vegas, Tuesday, February 21 at 12:15pm (PST) in room Titian 2203. Additionally, hear NYeC’s Executive Director, David Whitlinger, Thursday, February 23 at 8:45am in room Casanova 502. More information, including quotes from workgroup members, is available at www.interopwg.org.