Seeing Interoperability (in Action) Is Believing as IHE and HIMSS EHRVA Collaborate at North Carolina Conference

Members of the EHRVA came together to show the value of IHE and its contribution to establishing interoperable electronic health records

CHICAGO (September 15, 2006) – In a collaborative effort between Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE) initiative and the Electronic Health Record Vendors Association (EHRVA), eight healthcare vendors showcased interoperability as part of three demonstrations at the recent North Carolina Healthcare Information and Communications Alliance (NCHICA) Annual Conference and Exhibition in Greensboro, NC.  The collaborative showcase featured the sharing of patient medical summary data among vendors using two clinical scenarios and a variety of EHR applications that have chosen to adopt the IHE technical frameworks.

“We were very enthusiastic to receive NCHICA's request for an interoperability demonstration," commented Sonja Baro, senior product manager for McKesson and EHRVA’s EHR Acceleration work group vice chair. The EHRVA is associated with the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) and offers membership to HIMSS corporate members with legally formed companies designing developing and marketing their own commercially available EHRs with installations in the United States.  "Many of our demonstration participants were more than ready to share the work we've done as a vendor community with IHE to implement interoperability into our products."

Application deadline extended for the 2007 Interoperability Showcase
With the continued vendor interest in being part of interoperability demonstrations, IHE is extending the Sept. 15 application deadline until Sept. 25 for the 2007 HIMSS Interoperability Showcase, scheduled for Feb. 25-March 1, 2007, at the 2007 Annual HIMSS Conference & Exhibition in New Orleans. 

The deadline extension allows participating vendors to attend the educational and Q&A webinars with leading IHE experts and authors of the different IHE profiles that will be part of the showcase. More information on the webinars is available on the Interoperability Showcase Web site at

The interoperability showcase in North Carolina provided attendees an opportunity to see and better understand how IHE actually works.  NCHICA is the premier consortium in North Carolina that champions the adoption of information technology (IT) to improve healthcare.  The conference attracted 225 attendees with almost half (100) of them participating in one of three interoperability demonstrations.

CIO Roundtable supports HIMSS EHRVA Interoperability Roadmap
“NCHICA’s CIO Roundtable members fully support interoperability and the expressed principles of the IHE technical frameworks and the EHRVA Interoperability Roadmap,” said Holt Anderson, executive director of NCHICA.  The CIO Roundtable is composed of chief information officers who belong to NCHICA and participated in one of the three demonstrations at the showcase.  “These principles have national implications for improving our healthcare system,” Anderson continued.    

The HIMSS EHRVA Interoperability Roadmap is the first effort to articulate an achievable path to interoperability.  Its purpose is to serve as a guide for those involved in the development of an interoperable healthcare system.  The Roadmap organizes the processes necessary to achieve interoperability, from high level use cases to the most granular technical requirements.         
 “IHE and the HIMSS Electronic Health Record Vendors Association recognize the need to and value of working together to achieve interoperability in healthcare,” said Didi Davis, HIMSS director of IHE.  “The NCHICA conference provided the perfect forum to demonstrate that interoperability not only exists in many electronic health record system products, but it also streamlines the sharing of patient information.”  

HIMSS Electronic Health Record Vendors Association (EHRVA) is a trade association of EHR vendors that joined together to lead the HIT industry in the accelerated adoption of electronic health records in hospital and ambulatory care settings in the US. Representing an estimated 90% of the installed EHR systems in the US, the association provides a forum for the vendor community to speak with a unified voice relative to standards development, the EHR certification process, interoperability, performance and quality measures, and other EHR issues as they become subject to increasing government, insurance and provider driven initiatives and requests. Membership is open to HIMSS corporate members with legally formed companies designing, developing and marketing their own commercially available EHRs with installations in the USA. The association, comprised of approximately 40 member companies, is a partner of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) and operates as an organizational unit within HIMSS. For more information, visit

About IHE
IHE ( is a global initiative, now in its eighth year that creates the framework for passing vital health information seamlessly – from application to application, system to system, and setting to setting – across multiple healthcare enterprises.  IHE brings together health information technology stakeholders to implement standards for communicating patient information efficiently throughout and among healthcare enterprises by developing a framework of interoperability.  Because of its proven process of collaboration, demonstration and real world implementation of interoperable solutions, IHE is in a unique position to significantly accelerate the process for defining, testing, and implementing standards-based interoperability among electronic health record systems. 

The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) is the healthcare industry's membership organization exclusively focused on providing leadership for the optimal use of healthcare information technology and management systems for the betterment of human health.  Founded in 1961 with offices in Chicago, Washington D.C., and other locations across the country, HIMSS represents more than 17,000 individual members and some 275 member corporations that employ more than 1 million people.   HIMSS frames and leads healthcare public policy and industry practices through its advocacy, educational and professional development initiatives to promote information and management systems’ contributions to ensuring quality patient care.  Visit for more information.

The North Carolina Healthcare Information and Communications Alliance, Inc. (NCHICA) is a nonprofit consortium of 230 organization dedicated to improving healthcare in North Carolina by accelerating the adoption of information technology.  NCHICA members include: hospitals and clinics; medical and dental practices; professional societies and nonprofit associations; national, state and local health agencies; health plans; law firms; healthcare and IT consulting firms/vendors; health education and training providers; and research organizations.  For more information, visit