On June 13, 2017, Michael Suralik, project manager at HLN, co-presented with Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) colleagues in a session titled “Update on the Immunization Project Workgroup” at the 2017 Open Source Electronic Health Record Alliance (OSEHRA) Summit. Mike discussed HLN’s continuing work with VA on implementing our ICE Open Source Forecaster with VistA, the current EHR system used by VA.
On June 6, 2017, HLN was awarded the 2017 Upshot Award for Excellence in Vaccine Supply, Access, and Use by the National Vaccine Program Office (NVPO) for its ICE Open Source Immunization Forecaster. In the letter of award, Dr. Jewel Mullen, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health commented that,
HLN Consulting’s efforts on the Immunization Calculation Engine (ICE) are impressive. This powerful tool-including its open-source nature and seamless integration into clinical workflows-holds great promise for improving clinical decision-support and ultimately vaccination rates. Thank you for daring to innovate, collaborate, and lead in an area that is not only complex, but constantly evolving.
Mike Suralik, one of HLN’s project managers, was on hand to receive the award at the meeting of the National Vaccine Advisory Committee in Washington, DC. HLN is pleased to accept this award on behalf of the ICE project. While we have been the lead organization, we consider ICE to be a community effort of interested public health organizations, clinical users, and software developers. This project would not be a success without ongoing cooperation between these participants. ICE is an important product for the immunization community. It is collaboratively developed, maintained, and supported yet is freely available for use. We hope ICE can gain a broad acceptance not only here in the US but across the world.
See press release
Clinical Decision Support (CDS) services such as HLN’s Immunization Calculation Engine (ICE) are modular, loosely-coupled components of larger systems accessed via web services in a service-oriented architecture (SOA). Under HIPAA, services provided to Covered Entities (CE) which involve protected health information (PHI) as defined in the statute are subject to the regulation. But are CDS services such as ICE subject to this regulation?
HLN Consulting, LLC (HLN), a leading public health software application developer, has been at the forefront of Open Source software development, use, and support for public health. This has encompassed both the deployment and support of third-party Open Source products for our clients, and especially the development of new Open Source solutions. Since the vast majority of HLN’s work is government funded, software development activities conducted under “work for hire” agreements with government agencies often leads to public-private collaboration that results in Open Source products.
In December 2016 CDC issued a Request for Information related to clinical decision support (CDS). Specifically, CDC was, “…seeking input on the most important areas of focus, the stakeholders who are or should be part of the effort, and depictions of the current state of CDS development and implementation, including detailed descriptions of the individual components that impact effectiveness and the process of CDS development, particularly in those areas where the responder to this RFI has specific expertise.”
In HLN’s response we answered CDC’s questions largely based on our experience with ICE and RCKMS. These projects involve significant engagement between public health and the clinical and vendor communities and represent significant experience to leverage open source solutions more broadly.