Interoperability Institute's virtual testing environment can help with Cures Act compliance

The Interoperability Institute has launched a simulated healthcare testing environment called Interoperability Land, which aims to help various players in the healthcare space move towards the adoption of the new rules for data sharing and modernization of patient data exchange.

WHY IT MATTERS
The environment gives organizations the ability to explore various ways to implement interoperability standards – and it well-timed given the upcoming interoperability rules from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Office of National Coordinator for Health IT.

The platform, which uses simulated data, is designed to help organizations understand how different applications will work with their product or solution. Interoperability Institute likens the testing ground to the virtual simulators used to train surgeons and pilots – helping healthcare organizations test their approaches without the risk of exposing protected health information.

By using Interoperability Land, healthcare players can develop and test different versions of the standards such as DSTU3, STU3, R4 FHIR or SMART on FHIR applications through a variety of application programming interfaces and API sandboxes, said officials from Interoperability Institute, a subsidiary of the Michigan Health Information Network Shared Services.

The available test environments and data packs contain synthetic patients and personas and encompasses admission, discharge and transfer notifications and continuity of care documents, as well as quality reporting document architecture, such as HL7 standards.

Other capabilities include the ability to host collaborative events to promote learning and standards-based technology adoption, and the platform overall could help reduce the cost of creating and managing a developer API sandbox.

THE LARGER TREND
The release comes as health organizations await ONC’s final rules for the Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement, or TEFCA, which will define the interoperability standards required by the 21st Century Cures Act.

The hope is that TEFCA could help address the gaps in current exchange networks, frameworks and agreements, and harmonize agreed upon purposes for exchange and use of information.

One of the beta users of Interoperability Land, the Technical Architecture Committee for Medicaid Information Technology Architecture, also provided feedback and worked to develop applications within the platform.

“One of MITA’s goals is to integrate systems to advance interoperability, common standards and processes for the Medicaid system,” said Rich Folsom, chief technology officer for MITA-TAC, said in a statement. “During the testing phase, we were able to provide input on the product, but even more exciting is we were able to quickly and easily develop applications and application frameworks within the environment and utilize the synthetic data to fully test out the applications we built within the product.”

ON THE RECORD
“The Interoperability Institute is leveraging AWS Marketplace to help health plans, providers, technology vendors, health information exchanges, public health, and state Medicaid organizations move towards the adoption of the new rules for data sharing and modernization of patient data exchange,” said Tim Pletcher, DHA, chief executive officer, Interoperability Institute.

“AWS Marketplace has made it easy for organizations to purchase test environments and data packs that house synthetic patients and personas, containing continuity of care documents, admission, discharge and transfer notifications, quality reporting document architecture (HL7 standards) and more,” he added.

Nathan Eddy is a healthcare and technology freelancer based in Berlin.
Email the writer: [email protected]
Twitter: @dropdeaded209

Healthcare IT News is a publication of HIMSS Media.

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