IHE Australia to showcase cross community access at HIC

Standards-based interoperability organisation IHE Australia will provide a real-life demonstration of the movement of patients and data across the community and acute care sectors at its 2013 Interoperability Showcase, being held at the Health Informatics Conference (HIC) in Adelaide next week.

Seven health IT vendors will come together to show how they can support health information exchange through interoperability standards, with patient data being tracked across community and hospital settings. A member of the audience will be asked to play “the patient” to demonstrate the real-time nature of the showcase.

IHE Australia plans to run one demonstration for HIC's cancer care stream, and one for the mental health stream.

Event organiser Bernie Crowe said two new elements will be introduced at the showcase this year. One is cross-community access (XCA), which will show how information can be shared between the two domains of community care and acute care. Mr Crowe said XCA supports the means to query and retrieve patient-relevant medical data held by other communities.

A “community” is defined as a coupling of facilities or enterprises that have agreed to work together using a common set of policies for the purpose of sharing clinical information via an established mechanism. The community-based model has been successfully used in Australia and overseas to support health information exchange, he said.

The other is a demonstration of shared images, with one example using an iPhone to capture, send, store and share clinical photos so that they can be accessed by many different systems. Another example involves radiology, with images moving as needed between hospital and community radiology services.

“There are two domains we are looking at – community and hospital,” Mr Crowe said. “The reason why we are interested in this is that we can actually show two domains talking to each other, allowing both local and wider information exchange.

“This will use internationally approved, standards-based software that is readily available and we are showing it as a working system.”

What health information exchanges, based on IHE's Cross Enterprise Document Share (XDS) profiles, can do is allow healthcare organisations to focus on direct patient care using locally agreed models for exchange and consent, he said.

“If you go into one hospital but you live close to and attend another, you want the two to talk to each other. Melbourne is a perfect example: you have the Austin, Box Hill and Monash. You want the three to be linked in a health information exchange so they can communicate. That is what you can do with health information exchange.”

HIEs are already used widely overseas, particularly in the US, and it is hoped that the concept will be implemented in Australia, he said. “The showcase demonstrates what is possible using existing software and a fully standards-based connectivity. It could be implemented in Australia in the near future.”

For example, the University of Canberra, which has received approval to set up a hospital and Super Clinic, could potentially link with existing hospitals like Calvary John James and the Canberra Hospital, as well as with GP, community health and diagnostic services.

“We would then have a health information exchange and wherever care is delivered in Canberra health providers will have access, with consumer buy-in, to a complete set of key health records,” he said.

“A series of regional or organisational-based exchanges is fully compatible with the PCEHR, being able to contribute appropriate summary information for patients to control and also share as they wish.”

GE Healthcare will be involved in the showcase, providing its Centricity Clinical Archive (CCA) to provide the core infrastructure for a regional health information exchange including documents, radiology and medical images using industry standards DICOM and IHE-XDS.

It will also show its patient information viewer, which provides clinicians with internet-based access to the information in health information exchanges. GE will create an XDS repository, which can be used by acute care clinicians to access images and reports generated from community-based RIS/PACS software, in this case provided by the Integra system from RadLogix.

InterSystems will showcase two of its leading solutions, with HealthShare providing connection infrastructure and a user interface to display data in the HIE, and TrakCare to be used to query the HIE, process healthcare information presented in realistic clinical scenarios, and produce electronic discharge summaries that other systems can share.

DCA will showcase its The Care Manager (tcm 7) software to support the community mental health and cancer care teams. It will allow the cancer care team to create a care plan, review images and emergency department reports, as well as create a mental health care plan for the mental health team and provide information look-up.

HTR will use its Telhealth browser-based electronic health record system to create a patient health summary and to register these summaries with the regional health information exchange to support patient care in different settings.

Mach7 Technologies will provide mobile phone capture and transmission of medical images which can be retrieved through the GE community XDS network.

“We will have a scenario where we have a patient at the GP who has a rash, and we'll take a photo of it on the iPhone and send it to the dermatologist for comment,” Mr Crowe said.

The interoperability activity will be able to be viewed in detail using visualiser technology developed by Mohawk College, a Canadian provider of IHE and HL7 support and testing services.

“If you have ever been to a Showcase before, it includes people following the clinical workflow and trying to understand what's going on,” Mr Crowe said. “With the Mohawk visualiser, information flows can be tracked. For example, whenever a transaction moves, say from RadLogic to GE, the lights blink up on the big screen.”

The IHE Showcase is sponsored by Orion Health and supported by HISA. More information about the Showcase participants and their roles in the two scenarios are available from the IHE Australia website.

The IHE Australia Interoperability Showcase will officially open on Tuesday, July 16, at 11.15am with a demonstration of the mental health scenario. Hourly demonstrations will be available all day.

On Wednesday, July 17, the cancer care scenario will be showcased hourly, with a repeat of the mental health scenario every hour on Thursday, July 18, until the exhibition closes at 3.30pm.

Posted in Australian eHealth

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