CONNECT is an open source software gateway that allows healthcare practitioners to exchange health-related information, regardless of where they are set up around the country and what computer systems and platforms they use. Originally built by more than 20 federal agencies, this software solution uses Nationwide Health Information Network (NHIN) standards and governance as a framework to connect providers, insurers, federal agencies, states and others.
Rather than develop dozens of independent solutions with identical and redundant functionality, federal agencies together built CONNECT through the Federal Health Architecture (FHA) program. The agencies delivered CONNECT in 2009, and today the open source solution is available to any organization for use free of charge. With the public launch of CONNECT, FHA created the CONNECT Open Source Community and began recruiting participation from healthcare providers and payors, states, IT vendors and other stakeholders.
Today the community is comprised of more than 500 organizations and is growing rapidly. The CONNECT software and the community are “open” in every sense of the word. The software development process, technology needs definition and even the software itself is open to the community for discussion, improvement and contribution. Anyone with a stake in health IT is welcome to participate and have a voice in a solution that will impact the future of health IT in the U.S.
This session will provide attendees with an update on the CONNECT technology solution and an overview of how organizations are using the open source solution to create health information exchanges and tie into the NHIN.
David Riley is the CONNECT initiative lead for the Federal Health Architecture (FHA) Program in the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONCHIT). In this role, he facilitates consensus across a group of 20+ federal agencies and numerous private sector organizations and states to enhance health information sharing on a nationwide basis. He is also responsible for creating the product direction and overseeing product development for CONNECT. He has served as the Chief, Technology Discovery and Insertion directly for the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs. He is an experienced entrepreneur with startup experience in both the private sector and large scale IT projects in the federal sector. He is recognized for his skill in bringing together diverse groups with competing interests into working collaborations to tackle large scale complex problems producing working solutions in a reasonable timeframe on a budget. Mr. Riley is an Air Force Trained Primary Care Physician Assistant with a Bachelor’s Degree in Allied Health from the University of Nebraska Medical Center, College of Medicine. He served in the United States Air Force and was deployed during the Persian Gulf War.
Brian Behlendorf is the collaboration advisor for the CONNECT project, bringing a depth of experience in open source projects to the team. Behlendorf has served as a director for CollabNet where he helped guide the company to its leadership position in distributed software development with over one million users on CollabNet’s on-demand collaborative development environment. Before launching CollabNet, Behlendorf was co-founder and CTO of Organic Online, a Web design and engineering consultancy located in San Francisco. During his five years at Organic, Behlendorf helped create Internet strategies for dozens of Fortune 500 companies. During that time, he co-founded and contributed heavily to the Apache Web Server Project, co-founded and supported the VRML (Virtual Reality Modeling Language) effort, and assisted several IETF working groups, particularly the HTTP standardization effort. Before starting Organic, Behlendorf was the first Chief Engineer at Wired Magazine and later HotWired, one of the first large-scale publishing Web sites. Behlendorf is currently on the board for the Mozilla Foundation and a retired director and president of the Apache Software Foundation
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