HLN Consulting is pleased to announce a new project with the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) which will result in the incorporation of HLN’s Open Source ICE Immunization Evaluation and Forecasting software into VistA, the EHR used by VHA, and its deployment system-wide over the next few years. VHA is the largest health system in the US (other than the Department of Defense). HLN has been collaborating with VHA and its Open Source partners in the Open Source Electronic Health Record Alliance (OSEHRA) for the past several years. This represents a major step forward for the Open Source movement in government and for higher quality immunization forecasting and evaluation. For more information contact Noam Arzt (email@example.com) or Mike Suralik (firstname.lastname@example.org).
HLN’s president, Dr. Noam Arzt, participated in a regional meeting in Hawai’i sponsored by the American Immunization Registry Association (AIRA). Bringing together Immunization Information Systems managers and staff from the Pacific Islands, this two-day session focused on the unique needs of these island jurisdictions with respect to IIS functionality and interoperability. Dr. Arzt participated as a panelist in a session on successful vendor-client relationships.
Most public health information technology projects rely on strong collaboration to be successful, especially across vendor-client boundaries. Here are some successful strategies:
- Clear vision. A concise and clear vision focused on public health outcomes is embraced and articulated by all participants in the project.
- Strong support and leadership from senior management. Without strong support from senior management, projects are rarely given the priority to enable success. This prioritization includes both agency and vendor commitment.
- Funding. Both external (Federal) and internal (state/local) funding need to be committed to enable success, though long-term sustainability is an ongoing issue.
Consumers continue to be frustrated with lack of access to their healthcare data, even as wearables and other consumer-targeted devices and services continue to sprout. Recently, ONC launched a Consumer Health Data Aggregator Challenge to spur the development of new applications and partnerships to provide aggregated health data to patients. While the financial “prize” for this effort is meager, recognition by ONC might be the real brass ring. This challenge focuses on the use of FHIR exclusively to support interoperability between systems and present data to consumers. I suspect that applicants will have some trouble meeting the requirements of the challenge effectively, and this is indicative of the broader challenge in supporting this type of data access.
HLN participated in the 2016 OSEHRA Open Source Summit in Bethesda, MD. Our work bringing the ICE immunization forecasting system to VA-VistA is a major effort for the next several years and a conspicuous activity at the Summit. Mike Suralik, HLN’s ICE Program Manager, participated in a panel at the Summit as part of the OSEHRA Immunization Open Source Project Group.
And congratulations to our VA and WorldVistA colleagues who swept the 2016 OSEHRA Leadership Awards with their immunization-related work!