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Laboratory Information Technology (IT) – NILA & CRB/ONC Interoperability Workgroup

A Review of the Challenges Posed by Lab Interoperability with State Health Information Exchanges (HIEs) and the Deliverables Created to Mitigate These Challenges

Click to view the State HIE and Independent Lab Interoperability Resource Guide (pdf)

Be sure to click the link associated with the AAB public website. The second link goes to the State HIE Program HITRC website and requires a password.

Webinar -  Click below to view a NILA webinar with presenters from NILA and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology.

Background of the NILA & CRB/ONC Independent Lab Collaboration for Interoperability

In late 2012, the leadership of ONC's Lab Interoperability Community of Practice (CoP) contacted leaders of the National Independent Laboratory Association (NILA) to evaluate and explore opportunities to collaborate on several interoperability challenges unique to independent labs. In January 2013, NILA leaders presented an overview of their organization to the CoP membership. Together, the groups brainstormed potential approaches to collaboration and began identifying some of the interoperability barriers for independent labs. As a result, a collaborative workgroup was chartered with the following overarching goal:

To advance the dialogue around lab interoperability between independent labs and state HIE entities by recommending mitigation strategies or solutions to common barriers in this space.

The workgroup met periodically from March through July 2013 to identify interoperability barriers and potential solutions. Workgroup membership was voluntary and provided a balanced representation from both organizations. In addition, a representative from the College of Reproductive Biology (CRB) was added to the workgroup.

Origin of the Resources

The workgroup leveraged and further refined the preliminary list of interoperability barriers identified by the larger CoP/NILA & CRB brainstorming session. These barriers were further elaborated upon and consolidated into a final non-prioritized list. With a workgroup member facilitating the discussion on each barrier topic, the group identified solutions and deliverables to be developed which would result in a set of resources to support lab interoperability and the unique circumstances of independent labs.

Purpose of the Resources

These resources may be used as a "companion" to the "Labs Over Direct: A Toolkit to Get Started" which is a planning and implementation guide for Direct Secure Messaging (DSM) pilots with labs. This toolkit focuses on the "pre-work" leading up to the chartering of pilots. Since many of the barriers identified were related to lack of a common understanding of the interoperability business drivers and technology, this resource provides self-contained educational presentations on these key topics. The tools included support connecting stakeholders and instilling a common understanding of the terminology, business drivers, and technical options for interoperability.

State HIE and Independent Lab Interoperability Resource Guide

For documents embedded in the resource guide, please see below.

  • NILA/State HIE workgroup
  • State HIE Lab Strategy Inventory
  • State HIE Lab Strategy Inventory presentation
  • MU Stage 1 & 2 Requirements for Lab Interoperability presentation
  • Applicability Statement for Secure Health Transport v1.1
  • Delivery Notification Implementation Guide v1.0
  • Direct Secure Messaging and Delivery Notification presentation
  • LOINC Deep Dive presentation
  • Sample survey and results used to identify LIS vendors and level of interoperable functionality for members of the National Independent Laboratory Association (NILA)
  • Sample survey and results used to identify LIS vendors and level of interoperable functionality for the members of AAB's College of Reproductive Biology (CRB) labs
  • S&I Framework and the LRI, LOI and eDOS guidance
  • Executive summary of the LRI implementation guide (IG)
  • Labs Over Direct: A Toolkit to Get Started