HIE Interoperability Test Unveiled

The Certification Commission for Health Information Technology will begin a pilot of a HIE compliance testing program with a collaboration of states, public agencies, federally funded HIEs and HIT companies covering more than 50% of the U.S. population.

The independent agency, which has been authorized by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology to certify EHRs, announced the testing program at the HIMSS13 Annual Conference and Exhibition. It was selected to be the testing body for HIE interoperability compliance by Healtheway, the public-private partnership of the eHealth Exchange and the EHR/HIE Interoperability Workgroup, a consortium of states and vendors.

CCHIT’s HIE certification program will be specific to each technology and its version of commercially available products, healthcare provider participants and HIEs. It plans to launch the program in late spring after the pilot program has been completed. The program will consist of three certification components for each HIE it evaluates. These components include:

  • HIE Certified Community, which will certify that the HIE can offer statewide patient data inquiry enabling clinicians to query an HIE for information on specific patients;
  • HIE Certified Direct, which will certify that the HIE offers a simple way for providers to send secure health information directly to trusted recipients -- including patients -- over the Internet;
  • HIE Certified Network, which will certify that the exchange offers HIE to HIE connectivity.

The pilot test will be for the HIE Certified Network component of the program.

“We’re creating a robust, highly automated testing program using an open source tool that relies on a set of specifications,” says Alisa Ray, executive director and CEO at CCHIT. “Our aim is to enable true plug and play connectivity to simplify HIT development and reduce the cost of interface development. This will help health IT developers get their technology to market quickly and prepare provider and HIE participants to share information more efficiently.”