An Insider’s Look at the HIMSS13 Interoperability Showcase

March 20th, 2013

Last week, 3M Health Information Systems participated in the 2013 HIMSS Interoperability Showcase with the 3M Healthcare Data Dictionary (HDD). It was our first time participating in the Showcase with the HDD. The Showcase was organized into several different use cases of hypothetical clinical scenarios. Each use case had its own pod on the Showcase floor. Within each pod each vendor had its own kiosk.  We were one of the vendors in Use Case #3:  Biosurveillance Monitoring and Detection. The Saturday and Sunday before HIMSS were spent setting up our systems, testing, and rehearsing our presentations, with t. he Showcase itself running Monday through Wednesday of HIMSS.  I like to think of the Showcase as a place where vendors come to “walk the walk,” not just “talk the talk” about interoperability.  Vendors there were able to demonstrate the fruits of their collaboration efforts with each other to get their various systems to work together based on standard specifications.

Tours were conducted in which groups were led through the use cases, and each vendor explained their role within the use caseFor example, the 3M HDD acted as the Value Set Repository from the Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE) Sharing Value Sets (SVS) profile. Our use case consisted of a scenario of a patient coming to the doctor with a cough. The doctor suspects pertussis and orders labs for the patient. The labs confirm pertussis, which is a reportable disease. Therefore, in addition to sending the positive lab result back to the doctor, it is also sent to the public health infectious disease registry. Furthermore, the doctor’s EMR presents him with a form to provide additional information about the case to public health. The form is auto-populated to some extent and contains pick lists for certain fields.

The vendor that created the form acted as the Value Set Consumer, and the 3M HDD was the Value Set Repository. 3M provided the value sets that populated the reporting form pick lists. We were able to show how the forms vendor can query the HDD dynamically each time it produces a form. We also showed how value sets can be updated and maintained in real time.  This allows value sets to be managed in a single repository instead of being hard coded into the form.  In situations such as Meaningful Use, where numerous value sets need to be managed, having a single repository allows for more efficient management.

The other vendors involved in our use case and their roles were as follows:

  • GE – EMR
  • Axway – HIE Services and Lab
  • OZ Systems – Forms
  • Atlas – Public Health Department
  • General Dynamics Information Technology – IT Infrastructure

We had a steady stream of tours coming through our use case, including one group from the German Ministry of Health. Special thanks to Dr. Ken Pool and to Nitin Kunte from OZ Systems for working with us to develop a coherent narrative describing the SVS profile and the roles that our respective systems played in the use case.  3M looks forward to participating again next year.  To learn more about the HDD, IHE, and the Interoperability Showcase, please visit,, and, respectively.

Kasey Poon is a Physician Informaticist, Clinical Terminology, with 3M Health Information Systems.