The Department of Health and Human Services has joined the list of federal agencies and organizations to wield the power of open source technology to drive efficiencies in a 21st-century government.
The Federal Health Architecture is working with Open Health Tools, OHT, to migrate the governance and code management of CONNECT, to FHA’s open source community, according to a release by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT. CONNECT has been chosen as a project for OHT, a nonprofit that oversees open source communities and administers a framework for government, vendors and individuals to collaborate on health IT projects.
The department’s CONNECT program is an open source software meant to promote health care IT interoperability. It allows for secure, electronic health data exchange between health care providers, government agencies, insurers and consumer services.
According to the release, this marks a key milestone for the CONNECT program, signifying the beginning of a collaborative relationship with the open source community and FHA.
“FHA anticipates CONNECT will continue to be a core component of the rapidly growing interoperability ecosystem, allowing organizations nationwide to support better, more cost-effective care for all U.S. citizens,” the release said.
ONC expects OHT will provide a governance structure that allows other organizations such as vendors, providers, academia and health information exchanges, in order to expand their contributions to the CONNECT program.
CONNECT has been in the works for nearly seven years. Back in 2007, development began as a federated program managed by FHA and its federal partners, including the departments of Defense, Veterans Affairs and HHS.