Crossing the RHIO

I'm not going to stick my neck out here, and say that this year's HIMSS event is going to mark a watershed moment in the emergence of RHIOs. There's just too many obstacles standing in the way of widespread RHIO deployment, most of them political (standards wars, jockeying for position by regional competitors, state and federal attempts to build their own mode). We're not yet at the point where it even matters whether the industry has a consensus model for building a RHIO network. But still, if I were you, I'd check out the Interoperability Showcase for a gander at how a RHIO deployment looks when there's no competitive issues to muck things up.

That being said, smart vendors certainly have a role to play here. Look for a buffet of presentations on vendors' positions in the RHIO space, including, for example, a review of North American RHIO efforts by Orion Health; a gaggle of current RHIO participants brought together by vendor Axolotl; a discussion of HIT outsourcing and RHIOs by Bluegate; a new model crossing the "connected healthcare community and RHIO, built by IT solutions provider Healthvision; and the deployment of a National Health Information Network prototype managed by Northrop Grumman. So much going on here, it'll be hard to catch half of it--but it's worth the work.