Q&A: What the NwHIN Folks are Learning from DoD and VA Open Source eEforts

Tom Sullivan | Government Health IT | March 14, 2012

The DoD and VA are employing open source in their mammoth joint iEHR to an extent the federal government has not previously attempted – and among the agencies keeping a close eye on that is ONC.

Leading up to the Military EHR conference this week, Government Health IT Editor Tom Sullivan spoke with Lauren Thompson, PhD, director of the Federal Health Architecture (FHA) within ONC about how the DoD and VA leverage NwHIN protocols, FHA’s plans to follow in the DoD and VA’s open source footsteps, and what the future holds for FHA and its immediate governance efforts for federal partners.

Q: I saw that you will be speaking at the Military EHR conference this week. We hear a lot about the joint VA, DoD iEHR and VLER projects, so how do those fit into NwHIN?
A: The VA and DOD utilize the Connect gateway as their transport. Private partners use other transport software but federal partners are using the Connect Gateway, which is the implementation of specifications to enable the Exchange...