By Daniel Stein, President, Stewards of Change Institute | Co-P.I., National Interoperability Collaborative

Last year, when the Stewards of Change Institute team set out to create a genuinely different kind of webinar series for our National Interoperability Collaborative (NIC), we fully understood the challenge ahead of us. Simply put, most other webinars are basically online lectures with some Q&A at the end. The content is usually useful, so that model generally works just fine – and, besides, it’s tough to devise a new approach that truly engages dozens or even hundreds of attendees.

How are our webinars different?

Since collaboration and interoperability are central to NIC's mission, we always try to show (not just preach) that cross-domain conversation, interaction, learning and teamwork are indeed possible to achieve. Even in a webinar. So, in the wake of NIC’s first weekly webinar of 2020 last week, I’m happy to report that we’re well on our way toward accomplishing our goal, which, in a nutshell, is to turn interested attendees into engaged participants.

The ingredients in our not-so-secret sauce include accomplished expert presenters, of course, along with a facilitation approach that keeps conversations going throughout each session. Another key is the selection of diverse topics and showcasing them in ways that clearly demonstrate the value of information-sharing and collaboration across silos, domains and disciplines.

What is coming up?

On January 24th, 2020, for example, we’ll be exploring the potentially extensive impact of the new National Informational Exchange Model (NIEM) Health Domain (in which NIC will be an active participant), presented by Robert S. Tagalicod, Senior Advisor in the HHS Office of the Chief Information Officer. And, in the weeks and months to come, we’ll offer a series of presentations on the Social Determinants of Health and Well-Being, led by Karen Smith, the former Director of Public Health in California; an examination of the Public Safety domain through the lens of improving civil-legal to improve access and equity for underserved populations with innovative technology solutions in the courts, presented by the Pew Charitable Trusts; and discussions that will focus on NIC’s other Six Primary Domains Impacting Health and Well-Being, such as Education, Emergency Medical Response and Public Health and many other topics.

About Project Unify

We’ll also be regularly checking in on another exciting, innovative element of our work: Project Unify, which is a proof of concept initiative developed by the Let’s Get Technical group and the Technical Advisory Committee for the Medicaid Information Technology Architecture (MITA) on the NIC Collaboration Hub. The project, which focuses on person-matching to expedite data-sharing between health and human services, is making headway and promises to offer real-world applications in this complex, sometimes-vexing area of interoperability. Please take a look at the latest updates.

Join Us!

We invite you to join the NIC Collaboration Hub, so you can see and hear for yourself why so many thought leaders, organizational executives, government officials and other professionals from around the country participate in these high-energy sessions at noon (Eastern) every Friday. They are primarily hosted by our aforementioned Let’s Get Technical group, one of nine affinity groups currently on the Collaboration Hub, with more to come during the next months.

You can review the multiple sessions we held in 2019 on the NIC Collaboration Hub, contribute to those conversations and join us for the variety of webinars we are planning for 2020.

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