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Happy New Year! 2008 promises to be an exciting year for Red Hat and healthcare. One of our focuses has been on healthcare interoperability. Interoperability has many forms, and many different solutions are needed to address it in the healthcare industry. None of the solutions available today are perfect, but there are definitely advancements being made. Red Hat is actively working to improve healthcare interoperability in a number of different ways.

In December, Red Hat announced a partnership with HP in India on the MMEDD project, which will computerize 19 government hospitals and 14 medical colleges in Maharashtra. The first deployment will be at Sir JJ Hospital, one of the largest referral hospitals in the state. Red Hat is providing the infrastructure technology and expertise, including Red Hat Enterprise Linux and JBoss.

We’re also participating in the Health Services Specification Project (HSSP). The HSSP is defining common interfaces for some basic healthcare web services, and is a collaborative effort between HL7 and OMG. One such service is entity identification, which is crucial to insuring that disparate medical records for the same patient can be linked into a single view. Another service is Retrieve, Locate, Update Service (RLUS), which provides an implementation-agnostic interface and design pattern to retrieve, locate, and update health data from disparate data sources.

In April, the SOA Consortium, Health Level 7 (HL7), and the Object Management Group (OMG) will be sponsoring a conference entitled "SOA in Health Care: Realizing Quality of Care, Business Value, and Delivery on IT’s Promise." There’s currently a call for papers (both business and technical), so if you have a story to tell, consider submitting a paper. The due date for a submission is January 15.

The key to successful interoperability is collaboration. Red Hat is partnering with standards organizations, vendors, customers and other members of the healthcare technology ecosystem to help make interoperability happen. We’ll keep you updated as we make further steps toward enhancing healthcare interoperability.

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