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.
A public health perspective on interoperability
We have written previously about interoperability and its increasing important to public health. Yet public health has some specific challenges to making interoperability effective:
- There are more than 2,500 public health agencies in the U.S. at the federal, state, local, territorial and tribal levels. This not only leads to great diversity, but as a result public health cannot and does not speak with one voice about interoperability issues (or anything else for that matter). This makes it difficult for some stakeholders to engage public health consistently or to implement solutions that can be used more uniformly and therefore more effectively across public health.
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