Not-For-Profit Group To Take Over ONC’s CONNECT Project

April 7, 2014 in News

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT’s Federal Health Architecture has announced that not-for-profit Open Health Tools will take over the administration of CONNECT, FHA’s open source software development project, Modern Healthcare reports.

Background on CONNECT

CONNECT was launched in 2007 to facilitate the exchange of electronic health record data among federal health agencies and other organizations through the Nationwide Health Information Network.

In 2009, the project publicly released its first version of software code.

The program’s goals include:

  • Synchronizing the standards used to reach nationwide interoperability of health IT systems; and
  • Creating software necessary to connect multiple regional health information exchanges that will form the NwHIN.

Details of Announcement

In a statement, ONC said the decision to put Open Health Tools in charge the project’s administration “is a key milestone for the CONNECT program and the beginning of a fruitful collaboration with the open-source community and FHA.”

ONC added that FHA is planning to implement a “governance structure that provides a mechanism for community participants — including health information exchanges, vendors, providers and academia — to expand their contributions to the CONNECT program.”

Robert Kolodner, CIO of Open Health Tools and former National Coordinator for Health IT, said that transferring CONNECT to OHT was always part of the government’s plan. He added, “For [the project] to be robust and independent, it needed to move out into the open source community” (Conn, Modern Healthcare, 4/4).

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