On Friday, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT released Connect version 3.3, the latest version of its Connect software for health data exchange, Government Health IT reports (Mosquera, Government Health IT, 3/16).
Connect is an open-source software package that allows federal health agencies and other organizations to exchange electronic health record data through the Nationwide Health Information Network (Goedert, Health Data Management, 3/19).
Connect version 3.3 includes the latest technical standards for NwHIN to support functions such as patient discovery, document queries and information retrieval.
Lauren Thompson, director of ONC's Federal Health Architecture, said Connect version 3.3 aims to improve the performance and usability of the Connect software, while also allowing it to handle larger volumes of patient data.
Future Plans for Connect
Later this year, FHA plans to develop a new prototype called Connect+, which would serve as a portfolio for common software services so health care organizations can select and implement the software they need.
By December, ONC plans to transition the Connect project into a distributed development program within an open-source community.
According to Government Health IT, ONC's work on the Connect software and other NwHIN projects aim to facilitate health information exchange to support Stage 2 of the meaningful use program.
Under the 2009 federal economic stimulus package, health care providers who demonstrate meaningful use of certified EHRs can qualify for Medicaid and Medicare incentive payments (Government Health IT, 3/16).