SOURCE: Alembic Foundation

Alembic Foundation

May 04, 2011 09:41 ET

The Aurion Open Source Community Releases Aurion 4.0

Alembic Foundation's First New Release of Aurion Open Source Health Information Exchange Software Includes Major Enhancements, Including Support for Multiple Assigning Authority

FAIRFAX, VA--(Marketwire - May 4, 2011) - The Alembic Foundation today announced the availability of Aurion 4.0, the first release of the open source health information exchange software based upon CONNECT from the Federal Health Architecture. Aurion 4.0 was built by the Aurion open source community and incorporates code contributions from 19 people from five organizations. Major feature enhancements to the software include support for multiple assigning authority as well as a continuation of the code refactoring that began for the CONNECT 3.1 software.

"Despite having launched the Alembic Foundation only two months ago, we've been able to quickly set up the Aurion open source development environment and assemble a talented group of development volunteers," said David Riley, president of the Alembic Foundation. "The Aurion platform used CONNECT 3.1 as its baseline, and with the release of Aurion 4.0, the Aurion open source community has addressed many of the issues identified in CONNECT 3.1. This has been a huge task, and it wouldn't have been possible without our volunteer community."

The Aurion Project will host a Webinar on May 18 in order to provide further detail about technical aspects of the release. Aurion 4.0 is now available for download at http://wiki.aurionproject.org/display/R40/Release+4.0+Home.

Aurion 4.0 Features and Enhancements

Aurion 4.0 includes many feature enhancements, bug fixes and software updates. The full list can be found at http://wiki.aurionproject.org/display/R40/Release+Notes, and the following are examples of the updates:

  • Multiple Assigning Authority: When an organization participates in a health information exchange, they are typically assigned a unique identifier. Large organizations with multiple locations and systems often require multiple identifiers to make sure information is routed as quickly as possible to the correct site and the right systems. Support for multiple assigning authorities makes this possible. With the enhancement, for instance, a multi-site clinic may receive a single unique identifier, but the clinic then can add digits to the end of the identifier to identify specific systems and sites. In addition, multiple assigning authority makes it possible for an organization participating in multiple health information exchanges to use the same unique identifier across the different exchanges.
  • SAML Attributes No Longer Defaulted: In previous versions of CONNECT, when an organization uses the software to create SAML assertions, if some of the required values were not filled in, the software inserted default values. This presented a potential security issue, and Aurion 4.0 addresses this problem by removing the defaults.
  • Core Refactoring of Health Information Event Messaging (HIEM) Services: During the development of CONNECT 3.0 and 3.1, the development team worked on refactoring many of the services. The release of Aurion 4.0 also now incorporates the refactoring of the HIEM which provides a mechanism for publish and subscribe scenarios. An example of a publish/subscribe scenario would be a federal or state public health organization subscribing to information about public health outbreaks from care providers.
  • Patient Discovery Orchestration Modifications: Previously, when orchestrating a patient discovery message received from another gateway where the patient was found, the gateway would create its own HL7 201306 response message rather than returning the one that it received from the call. Now it checks the message it receives and returns that one. If it receives a null message, it will create a valid HL7 201306 response and return it.
  • Enhanced Consumer Preferences Profile GUI: A number of issues occurred in CONNECT 3.1 that prevented the Consumer Preferences Profile GUI from working. These were primarily related to core refactor. The Consumer Preferences Profile now runs in Aurion 4.0. This is an important component in ensuring an individual has control over what aspects of their records are shared and with whom.
  • Support for Eclipse Integrated Development Environment: Aurion 4.0 now includes some Eclipse integrated development environment files within the project. This provides developers with the ability to use a popular development environment for building upon these Aurion projects.

Initial Development Environment Setup

As part of the first release cycle, the Alembic Foundation and the Aurion open source community needed to set up a robust development environment. The team accomplished the initial setup, which included:

  • Building a Wiki for Aurion and populating all of the information regarding the previous releases (2.4, 3.0 and 3.1)
  • Creating and setting up the Subversion code repository and resolving any issues that existed in the current code base
  • Setting up the continuous integration build environments for release 3.1 and 4.0
  • Setting up a the nightly build environment
  • Setting up processes for committers, etc.
  • Setting up Scrum process and artifacts (i.e. user stories, Sprints, etc.)

The full development environment and software are available online at www.aurionproject.org.

Aurion 4.0 Contributors
Many developers contributed their time and energy to build Aurion 4.0, and their volunteer efforts deserve attention. The volunteer contributions were overseen by Les Westberg of Agilex Technologies and Jon Hoppesch of Harris Corporation.
Contributors included:

  • Agilex Technologies: Scott Borst, Neil Webb and Les Westberg
  • Harris Corporation: Chris Brown, Jon Hoppesch and Sai Valluripalli
  • Mirth Corporation: Will Hartung, Dan Kaplan and Gary Teichrow
  • U.S. Army Medical Research and Material Command (USAMRMC), Telemedicine and Advance Technology Research Center (TATRC): Jerry Goodnough
  • Northrop Grumman under contract to Conemaugh Health System (this work was
    performed under a USAMRMC TATRC Congressional project): Allen Barger, Jason Elliott, Reed Haslan, Nick McKeel, Jonathan Murawski
  • Orion Health: Tom Parker

About the Alembic Foundation
The Alembic Foundation is a nonprofit organization (501(c)(3)) dedicated to promoting transformation through disruptive innovation using open processes in open communities to create open technologies that are contributed to the public commons. We aim to make those technologies readily available for use by any and all who want to improve their lives, creating a better future for themselves and others by becoming first class citizens in a services-driven, networked information economy.

For more information about the Alembic Foundation, please visit www.alembicfoundation.org.

About the Aurion Project
Aurion is an open source health information exchange platform that implements the Nationwide Health Information Network standard services and specifications. Aurion is the first project chartered through the Alembic Foundation. It builds upon Aurion's direct ancestor, the multi-award winning CONNECT program built by FHA, to enable the secure exchange of interoperable health information among diverse organizations using a wide variety of technologies. Organizations implementing Aurion as a part of their health information exchange strategy gain the benefits of implementing nationally-recognized standards that enable data exchange with federal agencies as well as with numerous other health IT stakeholders.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Vanessa Manchester
    Alembic Foundation
    (571) 354-6741
    Email Contact