Greenway Health launches Interoperability University to train tomorrow’s technology innovators
Interoperability — the secure, free-flowing sharing of data among information systems and healthcare providers, patients and payers — is an essential foundation for improving care coordination and both financial and clinical outcomes. But knowledgeable experts in this critical field are often in short supply. Greenway Health, named one of Georgia’s top 10 most innovative companies by the Technology Association of Georgia (TAG), has developed a program that recruits and trains people to become the interoperability experts of today and tomorrow through the new Greenway Interoperability University.
The six-week, on-the-job program features a combination of classroom instruction, hands-on exercises, assessments, mentor shadowing and ongoing learning. Students, many of whom are recent college graduates, are trained by interoperability experts who have many years of experience.
The first two classes recently held their graduation ceremony at the company’s Carrollton, Georgia headquarters. Staff are based in various Greenway Health locations, from Carrollton to Greenway’s new Atlanta development center in Cobb County’s Galleria office park, as well as offices in Tampa, Birmingham and other locations. Having career opportunities in multiple locations enables Greenway to successfully compete for these important innovation resources to best serve the growing needs of its customers.
Accelerating innovation, advancing leadership
“Bottom line, lives are at risk when health IT systems don’t talk to each other,” said Greenway CEO Tee Green. “That’s why Greenway Health has long been a leader in driving interoperability and enabling data liquidity. ‘Interop U’ is yet another way we’re accelerating innovation in this fundamental area while creating rewarding career paths for people interested in the wide-open field of information technology.”
Greenway’s innovation continues to be recognized by cross-vendor industry organizations. “Interoperability University demonstrates how our industry partners are helping the emerging workforce understand and advance innovative technologies that could become the standards of tomorrow,” said Joyce Sensmeier, MS, RN BC, CPHIMS, FHIMSS, FAAN. Sensmeier is president of IHE USA, a non-profit organization that fosters national adoption of a consistent set of standards that enable interoperability of health IT systems. “We’re pleased to see Greenway Health continue its leadership role in health IT interoperability.”
Greenway Health is a founding member of CommonWell Health Alliance, the first ambulatory health IT solution provider to join the eHealth Exchange and, this Spring, one of only three HIT companies in the new Surescripts National Record Locator service. These and other initiatives all have the same aim — to better tie together our healthcare system to empower providers, consumers and payers alike in improving population health.
Part of today’s industry challenge is that significant health IT interoperability remains based on Health Level 7 (HL7), a long-time standard that isn’t typically taught in universities. “So, we train our Interop U students on HL7 to meet current needs, but we’re also preparing them with skills for emerging standards such as FHIR — Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources — as well as for the application programming interfaces or APIs we’re already using,” said Rob Newman, Greenway Health vice president of interoperability and a program sponsor.
“The program also significantly expands Greenway’s interoperability capacity and enables us to meet the demands of current and future customers for connectivity faster than ever before,” Newman noted. Whatever lies ahead, they and Greenway Health itself will have a firm foundation for success with agility.”
Making a difference
Christopher Johnson, a recent college graduate, hadn’t necessarily committed to a career in interoperability when he applied for product development openings at Greenway Health. “But when they told me about the new Interoperability University and the need for more experts in this field, I thought it would be an excellent career path that would also enable me to participate in something that would help make a difference. I’m very glad I followed this path and have this opportunity.”
Mark Glassford, who had an earlier technology career in healthcare and then manufacturing, came to Greenway Health and an interoperability role “because, unlike in manufacturing, in health IT I can feel that what I’m doing is a lot more meaningful — it plays a role in helping care for people. That sense of making a difference was really important to me in coming to Greenway.”
For more information about interoperability and other career opportunities at Greenway Health, see the Careers section of its website.