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EHRVA Members Collaborate to Demonstrate Interoperability Success at NCHICA

With ONC National Coordinator Robert N. Kolodner, MD, on its panel, the HIMSS Electronic Health Record Vendors Association focuses on advancing


ASHEVILLE, N.C., Sept. 26 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Building on its successful collaborative efforts to further the widespread adoption of EHRs, the HIMSS Electronic Health Record Vendors Association (EHRVA) provided an in- depth and patient-centric perspective on interoperability during the North Carolina Healthcare Information and Communications Alliance, Inc. (NCHICA) Annual Conference & Exhibition. The conference, "Cultures in Transition - Healthcare Consumers, Payers and Providers," continues in Asheville, NC, through today.

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"NCHICA is pleased and honored to have EHRVA's participation in our conference for the second year," said Holt Anderson, executive director of NCHICA. "The EHRVA presentation demonstrates the real potential for improving health and care for consumers in a community where they are seen in different settings with electronic systems from competing vendors. Interoperability at this level will improve patient outcomes and safety through improved information flow and access."

About 150 attendees learned more about the EHRVA and its unified position on achieving interoperability in healthcare. Members have developed the EHRVA Interoperability Roadmap to support the nationwide goal of interoperable EHRs and provide a guide that can help other healthcare organizations and health IT vendors to follow.

During the demonstration, the audience followed the flow of a patient from home, through physician office visits, and admission to the hospital using digital health information at each step to support continuity of care. This efficient and instantaneous exchange of patient health information illustrated the benefits of the EHR in improving the quality of patient care while reducing medical errors. Members of the vendor organization participating in either the demonstration or presentation included Allscripts, Meditech, Misys and Siemens. Cap Med, IBM and Initiate also participated in the demonstration.

With applications of the Integrating the Health Enterprise (IHE) infrastructure and processes as part of its interoperability demonstration, the vendors illustrated how a medical summary with patient information and images can flow securely through the patient care process using the latest Healthcare Information Technology Standards Panel (HITSP) interoperability specifications.

Following the demonstration, Robert M. Kolodner, MD, coordinator, Office of the National Coordinator, joined EHRVA and NCHICA members in a panel discussion. Other members of the panel included:

-- Holt Anderson/NCHICA

-- John Jenkins/Moses Cone Health System

-- Geoff Lawson/Morehead Memorial Hospital

-- Hugh Zettel/General Electric

-- George Cole/Allscripts

During this open panel discussion, the panel members presented their perspectives on accelerating the adoption of interoperable health IT with input from audience members as well.

"Participating in the NCHICA conference provided another opportunity for our members to be part of this focused effort in North Carolina and nationwide, to improve the delivery and quality of patient care with health information technology," said Harris Gilbert, vice chair of the EHRVA Acceleration/Adoption Committee and vice president of marketing, digiChart, Inc., Nashville, Tenn. "The EHRVA represents a strong alliance of software vendors that are working together to facilitate the implementation of electronic health records."


HIMSS EHRVA is a trade association of Electronic Health Record (EHR) vendors that join together to lead the health information technology industry in the accelerated adoption of EHRs in hospital and ambulatory care settings in the US. Representing a substantial portion 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 US. The association, comprised of more than 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 global leadership for the optimal use of healthcare information technology (IT) and management systems for the betterment of healthcare. Founded in 1961 with offices in Chicago, Washington D.C., Brussels, and other locations across the United States and Europe, HIMSS represents more than 20,000 individual members and over 300 corporate members that collectively represent organizations employing millions of people. HIMSS frames and leads healthcare public policy and industry practices through its advocacy, educational and professional development initiatives designed 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

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