Feds Release Latest Version Of Connect

Joseph Conn | ModernHealthcare.com | February 13, 2013

The federal government has released its latest version of the open source Connect software platform for advanced health information exchange.

Called Connect 4.0, this latest version for the first time incorporates another government-developed interoperability tool, the Direct protocol for encrypted, peer-to-peer communication. Direct can be used for referral letters and patient summaries and other communications between providers. Direct stands poised to become the key vehicle for interoperability providers will use to meet Stage 2 meaningful use criteria under the electronic health record incentive payment program of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

With Direct bundled into Connect, “now an organization has the multiple transport mechanisms available to them,” said Lauren Thompson, director of the Federal Health Architecture program at the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology at HHS. “We like to think of it as a portfolio of ways for exchange.”...