HLN attended the Association of Immunization Managers (AIM) 2018 Leadership in Action Conference in San Diego, CA on June 4-6. Bringing together over 200 Immunization Program Managers, staff, and associated non-profits and vendors, the conference provided leadership training to attendees in a number of areas as well as regional sessions to discuss issues important to Immunization Program activities. For the first time, HLN was a Bronze sponsor of the conference. “We feel it’s critically important to support events such as these,” commented Dr. Noam Arzt, president of HLN who attended the meeting, “Budgets are tight, and it’s essential that public health officials have the opportunity to discuss issues in common, and to learn from each other.”
At the 2018 National Immunization Conference (NIC) held in Atlanta May 15-17, HLN co-presented Diverse Stakeholder Perspectives to Improve Oregon’s School Immunization Reporting Process in collaboration with the Oregon Immunization Program (OIP). Aaron Dunn, Oregon’s Immunization Program Manager, and Marcey Propp, HLN Project Manager, presented the project context, approach and outcomes as part of the segment for Improving measurement and reporting to foster clear vaccine communication. The project context included antiquated technology, the growing complexity of vaccine requirements, and excessive, redundant and unnecessary workload that culminated in making the current school immunization reporting process unsustainable. While OIP knew their own requirements, they identified the need for an external contractor to assess the needs and obstacles of key stakeholder groups, identify feasible options to the current process, and evaluate the alternatives based on state-defined criteria.
On March 27-28, 2018, Dr. Noam Arzt, President of HLN, participated by invitation in the Stewards of Change National Interoperability Collaborative Symposium on Advancing Information Sharing in California and Beyond on behalf of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS). In attendance was a small, but diverse set of stakeholders across the health, human services, education, and criminal justice with an interest in improving data interoperability between systems with these diverse domains, with a special emphasis on efforts in California. Sponsored by the National Interoperability Collaborative (NIC) this symposium represents a continuing expansion of the Stewards of Change focus from human services into the health domain. This expanded conversation will allow public health to participate more fully as the shift to our collective concern about wellness requires a more holistic view of people, their requirements, and their circumstances. We look forward to continuing engagement with this community and an opportunity to bring what we have learned in public health about interoperability into this new forum.
Technical assistance (TA) is provided by expert consultants to public health systems projects in order to improve their performance against functional standards or to help solve recurring or one-time problems or issues. Unlike other forms of training or support, TA is usually focused or tailored to a specific circumstance or situation. Common examples of TA include assistance to a jurisdiction in migrating from one product to another, consultation related to a specific programmatic initiative such as school immunization health compliance, EHR interoperability implementation, or data quality review.
The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) has selected Dr. Noam H. Arzt, President of HLN Consulting (HLN), as a member of the Trusted Exchange Framework Task Force. This group of healthcare and health information technology specialists will advise ONC on various aspects of the Draft Trusted Exchange Framework. This framework outlines a common set of principles for trusted exchange of health information records and minimum terms and conditions for trusted exchange as directed by Congress in the 21st Century Cures Act.
The task force is expected to consider a number of important implementation issues for the framework, including the nature of the coordinating body that ONC envisions for this activity (the Recognized Coordinating Entity, or RCE); the definition, attributes, and functioning of the organizations that will operate within this framework to exchange data (the Qualified Health Information Networks, or QHINs); issues related to privacy and security that must be understood and settled before interoperability can take place; and determination of exactly what activities and uses will be supported by the network.
Dr. Arzt has been a vocal proponent of health data interoperability and health information exchange for many years, with particular emphasis on public health’s needs and activities. Dr. Arzt has written extensively on the challenges and potential solutions to interoperability, including The Interoperability of Things which describes why interoperability in the US seems so hard to achieve. In a recent blog post (HIE: The New Landscape), Dr. Arzt described the state of health information exchange today and the changes that have taken place since Federal funding under the HITECH Act ended. He has also written key articles on important issues in health information technology such as information blocking, the state of patient matching strategy in the US, and cloud computing.
Dr. Arzt recently submitted public comments related to TEFCA on behalf of HLN, and participated in the responses developed and submitted by key organizations including the American Immunization Registry Association (AIRA), American Medical Informatics Associations (AMIA), Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), and the Joint Public Health Informatics Task Force (JPHIT).