November 18th, 2009
Health care geeks flock to Portland for open source CONNECT Code-a-thon
With OHSU, Portland has a great deal of prominence in the world of health care. And with open source, Portland has some street cred with the techie types. But events that get the health care and open source tech types intermingling? Not so much.
What’s CONNECT you ask? Well, it’s an effort by the US government to enable its health care technology systems to share data with one another over a national network. So if you start sneezing in Topeka, a doctor there can access your medical records here.
CONNECT is an open source software solution that lets health IT systems and health information exchanges securely communicate with each other using nationally-recognized standards and guidelines. By using CONNECT, information can be easily shared among IT systems at doctor’s offices, federal agencies, state agencies, disability organizations, pharmacies, payors and other health stakeholders, making it possible for information to follow patients. CONNECT enables health information exchange within an organization, regionally, and at the national level using the Nationwide Health Information Network (NHIN) conventions and standards.
A good gateway is one thing. But getting systems to hook into—and take advantage of—that gateway is entirely another. And that’s what the CONNECT Code-a-thon hopes to facilitate: helping folks figure out how to hook into CONNECT.
The event will be a hands-on working session where attendees will have the opportunity to work side-by-side with other organizations implementing CONNECT as well as the development team from the CONNECT program. We will be listing topics on the forum and encourage discussions prior to the Code-A-Thon so we can get straight to the business of coding during the event.
In addition to being a great opportunity to further technology in the health care sector, landing this event marks yet another step forward for Portland and its recognition as an open source community. Dare I say that Portland is the de facto hub of open source? I dare.