The OpenHIE initiative grew out of the RHEA project, where a Health Information Exchange has been developed to support maternal health in Rwanda. More information about this project and the HIE implementation is available here . The OpenHIM (http://openhim.org/) tool was designed and developed as the interoperability layer for the Rwandan project and has been implemented and is operational in one district of Rwanda.
As a part of the OpenHIE project this community was tasked with reviewing and evaluating what makes a good interoperability layer going into the future and to determine what technologies best suit an interoperability layer for our purposes. The objective was to provide a recommendation of whether we should use/modify an existing technology or built something ourselves, with the ultimate aim of providing a generic IOL tool that is appropriate for use in low-resource settings.
The process and methodology we used to evaluate options for an interoperability layer were:
Document use cases and requirements for a Interoperability Layer
Performance test the current OpenHIM used in RHEA in order to ensure the OpenHIM is scalable to national level
Create a tool to evaluate how well the Interoperability Layer software meets the requirements
Compile a list of software that could be used as an interoperability layer
Evaluate list software options using the evaluation tool
Write up results of the evaluation and come to consensus on a recommended way forward i.e. whether to use or modify an existing tool or build from scratch.
Create design specifications