New Public-Private Community Aims to Help Build NHIN

Ken Terry | Fierce Health IT | May 2, 2011

Two years after the Office of the National Coordinator of Health IT (ONC) released an open-source version of its CONNECT software for linking to the National Health Information Network (NHIN), a new nonprofit organization--the Alembic Foundation--is assembling a private-public community to start building a critical mass of CONNECT users.

This week, Alembic's Aurion Project will release the latest version of the CONNECT application, Aurion 4.0, and participants in the Aurion community will finalize a charter and a governance structure.

In the long run, this project may have a considerable impact on the development of the NHIN. And, if it does, it will be in large measure because of its emphasis on collaboration between the public and private sectors.

Fifteen private-sector organizations and a consortium representing 26 federal agencies helped create CONNECT in 2007 and 2008. David Riley, chair of the Alembic Foundation, was one of the outside consultants who worked on this project; Vanessa Manchester, Alembic's chief operating officer, was another.