Friday, April 3, 2009

Cool Technology of the Week

I'm flying to HIMSS today to present a keynote with Senator Whitehouse about Health Information Exchange

I'll describe the work we've done in Massachusetts to create an appliance, using HITSP standards, that transports data for medication management, clinical summary exchange, administrative transactions, and quality reporting.

Over the past several years, I've been involved in many Healthcare Information Exchange projects for academic health centers, communities, and physician groups.

One interesting approach, that is my cool technology of the week, is OpenHRE(tm), Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) created and supported by Browsersoft. The goals of the OpenHRE project are

* to foster development, distribution and support of standard Record Locator, Health Record Exchange and Access Control services held as Free/Open Source Software

* to build a community to this aim

* to realize this goal via a self-sustaining business model and open collaboration among all stakeholders

The site is currently hosted as a collaboration among all interested parties including OpenHRE Community Contributors. These folks have implemented live data exchanges serving rural, metropolitan and State level initiatives in Tehachapi California, Franklin Louisiana, San Antonio Texas and throughout the state of Kansas. 

The architecture is simple and is based on the Markle Foundation’s Common Framework that was implemented in the 2004-2005 Nationwide Health Information Network prototype projects. OpenHRE offers an open source record locator service (which provides community master patient index services), basic content exchange services using HL7 2.x and Continuity of Care Document standards, and a web-based clinical data viewer.

Importantly, they also provide a consent and information protection framework for easy control of clinical data flows. You'll find all the details in this manual provided by Gijs van Oort, from Healthcare Access of San Antonio , an OpenHRE Community Contributor.

They've developed these components, and their production exchanges, on small budgets using Linux, Java, and MySQL plus a great deal of volunteer time.

Their code is available at the OpenHRE site. Just click on "Downloads" in the Main Menu, and then click on "Software" to access the link to SourceForge. From this site you can download the software, submit to the support or developer forums, report bugs, and request new features.

An open source Health Information Exchange using standards, good policies, and a well thought out architecture.

That's cool!


Judy F said...


Perfect timing! I'm sitting in an airport waiting for a (delayed) flight to Chicago. I hope to make it in time for your presentation tomorrow.

I am involved in an organization called WYNCIE (Western NY Clinical Information Exchange. ( It’s a unique organization because it is funded primarily by the regional health plans with strong participation from the local hospitals.

I’m very interested in pursuing opensource software. You mention a few groups that have implemented this solution. Do you happen to have any contact information?

Judy Feldman
Independent Health

Todcasting said...

Data interchange among silo-based systems at providers is a very old fashioned approach - software-as-a-service is a far better way for providers to share data at the source. It is amazing to me how the healthcare space is 10 years behind the rest of software