AAMI Supports Interoperability Efforts With Sponsorship of IHE

The Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) has become a major new sponsor of the Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE) Patient Care Devices (PCD) domain, an initiative by healthcare professionals and industry to improve interoperability in healthcare.
“Interoperability and device integration is one of the biggest issues our members are facing now,” says AAMI President Mary Logan. “By participating in the IHE, we can help to shape interoperable products and solutions that will benefit our members.”
Promoted by the Obama administration, interoperability—the ability of medical systems, including devices, to work together and share information—and the growth of health information technology in general are increasingly bigger priorities for healthcare facilities.
“AAMI, as the foremost organization of point-of-care device manufacturers and users, is in the best position to educate these parties about the needs, processes, and benefits of interoperable communications,” says Manny Furst, the technical project manager for the IHE PCD.
Because the time it takes to bring regulated devices to market can be lengthy, AAMI can help the IHE “recruit manufacturers and users for PCD working groups to set priorities and speed the development of technical documents and frameworks,” Furst says.
In its role in the IHE, AAMI will educate vendors and their customers about forthcoming changes in the interoperability market, advocate certain solutions, and provide support for IHE committees and working groups.
AAMI’s participation in IHE can also help members comply with U.S. Food and Drug Administration requirements, including the new medical device data system rule, which is related to PCD’s efforts.
The IHE creates interoperability profiles, which are standards-based technical documents that make possible communication of physiologic and operations data from devices to the electronic medical record (EMR), including the interoperable communication of alarms and events. Plans include sending a variety of device data sent to CMMS systems as well.
Various groups called domains create the profiles—the technical requirements based upon existing standards. The PCD domain develops profiles where at least one is a patient-centric regulated device.
Engineers then gather at IHE “connectathons” to test the interoperability of the devices/systems and technical frameworks in prototype or marketed products.
The IHE-PCD is also sponsored by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), which provides financial and administrative support for the IHE PCD, and the American College of Clinical Engineering (ACCE).
HIMSS is pleased to “welcome AAMI as a co-sponsor of the IHE PCD domain,” says Joyce Sensmeier, MS, vice president of informatics at HIMSS. “The leadership that AAMI brings to the discussion will help break through existing barriers to device interoperability that would not previously have been possible. We look forward to working with AAMI to explore new avenues for advancing interoperable solutions for patient care devices as they connect to electronic health record systems.”
Source: Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation – Founded in 1967, the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) is a nonprofit organization representing a unique alliance of over 6,000 members from around the world united by one mission to increase the understanding and beneficial use of medical instrumentation through effective standards and educational programs, and publications.