Health information exchanges can make even more implementation headway now that the federal government has released its latest version of its open source platform for enabling the secure exchange of patient information, Connect 4.0.
Connect 4.0 is a "milestone," supporting current federal health IT standards and the Meaningful Use Stage 2 core objectives related to the electronic exchange of information, according to a Feb. 11 announcement on the Health IT Buzz blog. The latest upgrade also offers more flexibility through a modular platform that allows users to pick and choose which components they want to use.
The platform supports high message throughput, the exchange of large files, and improved logging capabilities, and uses a smaller server footprint than prior versions.
Connect is the result of a collaboration between the Federal Health Architecture and its federal partners, the Office of the National Coordinator, the Department of Defense, the Department of Veteran's Affairs, the Social Security Administration and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Connect first was launched in 2008.
HIEs and other stakeholders have been working diligently to get HIEs up and running. The National eHealth Collaborative released guidance in December with strategies to develop and sustain interoperable HIEs. ONC, meanwhile, released a series reports last month to increase the understanding of HIE background and implementation for both researchers and policymakers