IHE-Europe Connectathon Reaches a Peak in Bern

The IHE European Connectathon to be held in Bern, Switzerland, from 21-25 May 2012 will expand this year to include European nations connecting health records in the large-scale European Patient Smart Open Service (epSOS) project and will host satellite meetings for key e-health organisations.

Photo: IHE-Europe Connectathon Reaches a Peak in Bern

An intensive ‘connectivity marathon’, the core testing activity at Connectathon for the interoperability of applications used in health information systems will gather more than 300 information technology engineers testing more than 120 systems over five days.

Connectathon 2012 will also see testing of the expanded portfolio of IHE profiles that assure the seamless flow of patient information. For the first time ever, the new Cross-Enterprise Document Workflow (XDW) profile, which enables multiple caregivers to manage patient-centric workflows, will be tested. In the Laboratory domain, vendors this year will be testing the Laboratory Analytical Workflow profile.

The maturity of tools developed by IHE-Europe will be demonstrated during Connectathon. The Gazelle test management platform that successfully managed the North American Connectathon held in January 2012 in Chicago will connect health IT systems in real-time in Bern, as well as enabling the simultaneous log-in of hundreds of engineers.

This year the European Connectathon in Bern will be managed for the first time by IHE-Services, a new organisation that transfers the team and the technology for interoperability testing developed by the not-for-profit IHE-Europe association to an neutral engineering test laboratory that now offers bespoke services for vendors developing new systems, as well as hospitals, national or regional e-health networks and other stakeholders. The Projectathon returns this year to Connectathon, a testing event to be run in parallel for the large-scale epSOS project. New nations starting to participate in epSOS this year will test the exchange of vital patient data across borders from Bern, connecting remotely with experienced partner nations that validated systems last year.

These hands-on, real-time testing activities are attracting key participants from e-health organisations across Europe, creating week-long opportunities for discussion, dialogue and networking. Organisations planning meetings include the IHE International Pharmacy group, IHE-Europe and epSOS. During Connectathon the national IHE Suisse initiative, under the patronage of the Swiss Federal Council, plans a full-day conference, primarily in German, dedicated to key issues for that nation's expanding e-health programmes.

Guided tours will also be proposed for groups considering adoption of IHE profiles to provide an inside appreciation of interoperability testing. Organisations that would like to hold meetings or take a tour are invited to express their interest and register at www.connectathon2012.org.

“Connectathon is a landmark moment in European e-health, and its robust collaborative model continues to embrace more actors and leaders to help advance healthcare IT for the benefit of patients,” said Lapo Bertini, IHE-Europe vendor Co-Chair.

The meetings and testing events will be held at the Bern Expo, a major congress centre in Bern ideally suited for this European gathering.  

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