Open-source health information exchange gets boost with new CONNECT release


CGI Federal Inc. has released a new version of the CONNECT Nationwide Health Information Network (NwHIN) Exchange gateway, seeking to make it easier for organizations to deploy, use and maintain the open-source technology and support more widespread adoption.

CONNECT is spearheaded by the Federal Health Architecture (FHA) under the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC). The software was developed under contract to FHA and is available to the CONNECT open-source community for download at connectopensource.org.

Widely adopted by organizations participating in the NwHIN Exchange, CONNECT is used by hospitals, doctors, payers and government agencies to support the secure, standards-based exchange of health information. Officials say the new release of CONNECT 3.3 supports the latest NwHIN specifications, and offers a way for organizations to embrace information exchange while protecting their existing system investments. Through scalability and performance enhancements, CONNECT 3.3 provides the necessary foundation for larger regional and national rollouts.

The Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Defense (DoD), Social Security Administration (SSA) and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) are currently using CONNECT to interact and exchange health information with thousands of healthcare providers through the NwHIN Exchange, which supports approximately one million patients and beneficiaries.

“CONNECT is a great success story – with federal agencies coming together to build a system that everyone can use and benefit from,” said FHA Director Lauren Thompson. “The rapidly growing Exchange community of federal agencies, states, health systems and insurers can better serve their patients and beneficiaries by getting the information they need quickly and securely for better clinical decision-making and benefits determination.”

“The velocity of change in health IT today demands secure, open-source solutions to support a wide array of healthcare organizations working to improve healthcare quality for the nation,” added Cheryl Campbell, senior vice-president of CGI. “CGI is proud to deliver the latest version of CONNECT with our public and private partners and contribute to the continued adoption of secure, standards-based health information exchange.”