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HHS Plans CONNECT “Code-a-Thon”

On August 27, The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is hosting a “code-a-thon” for open-source programmers to collaborate and contribute to the new National Health Information Network (NHIN) gateway, CONNECT. The software was released to the open-source community this past April.

“The code-a-thon gives programmers an opportunity to meet face to face and get to know each other rather than simply just communicating by email,” remarked the CONNECT program lead for the Federal Health Architecture (FHA) program in the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, David Riley.

At the “code-a-thon,” HHS plans to have programmers work on bug fixes, security, adapters, client applications, and development tools for the software.

According to Brian Behlendorf, who is working with HHS on the CONNECT program and with Aneesh Chopra on the Open Government initiative team, “A code-a-thon can take bright ideas that don’t yet have that first implementation, or first proof of concept, and help them get it over the hump.”

The CONNECT software was created by the Federal Health Architecture at HHS, along with more than 20 government agencies, to provide a way for the agencies and the private sector to securely exchange electronic health records and other health information.

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