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Carequality, DirectTrust Continue Growing Health Data Exchange

Carequality exchanged more than 14 million clinical documents in August, while DirectTrust took on two new member organizations.

Carequality and DirectTrust have made efforts to expand health data exchange in recent months.

Source: Thinkstock

By Kate Monica

- Carequality and DirectTrust have each achieved significant growth in recent months as health data exchange continues to grow steadily nationwide.

Users of the Carequality Interoperability Framework exchanged more than 14 million clinical documents in August, representing accelerated month-over-month growth in health data sharing. Since Carequality’s inception in December 2016, implementers of the framework have exchanged more than 59 million documents.

Currently, more than 50 percent of all healthcare providers across the country utilize the Carequality framework to share data, including more than 1,400 hospitals, 40,000 clinics, and 600,000 healthcare providers.

 “Hitting over 50 million documents exchanged is truly a milestone for Carequality,” said Carequality Vice President Dave Cassel. “We’ve seen growth each month that Carequality has been in operation, but the rate of growth has been dramatic over the past few months.”

“More than half of the documents exchanged in about two years of operations, have been in the past three months,” said Cassel. “It’s very exciting to see that providers are finding value in Carequality and are increasingly using the connections.” 

Carequality is also currently accepting applications from stakeholders interested in participating in its Implementation Guide Update Workgroup, as well as its Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) Use Case Technical Workgroups.

As part of the Implementation Guide Update workgroup, stakeholders will propose updates to Carequality’s Query-Based Document Exchange Implementation Guide based on the recommendations of prior workgroups.

The FHIR Use Case Technical workgroups will work to expand Carequality’s governance framework to include the FHIR data standard. Workgroup participants will propose technical specifications for inclusion in the Carequality FHIR-Based Exchange use case.

Carequality announced plans to add support for FHIR standards to its trusted exchange framework earlier this month.

In addition to its FHIR Use Case Technical workgroups, Carequality is also convening stakeholders to participate in FHIR Implementation Guide Technical and Policy workgroups.

The policy and technical workgroups will work alongside other organizations involved in the development of FHIR standards. Carequality has clarified the workgroups will not duplicate work that is already underway related to FHIR specifications in use case workflows.

DirectTrust is also taking steps to expand health data exchange to more and more providers nationwide.

Two healthcare organizations joined the nonprofit alliance in recent months, including the American Academy of Dermatology and SecureHIT.

With these newest additions, DirectTrust’s total membership has reached 112 organizations.

In addition to acquiring new members, DirectTrust has also seen steady growth in the number of Direct addresses and transactions. The number of healthcare organizations served by DirectTrust health information service providers (HISPS) and utilizing Direct exchange jumped 25 percent in recent months to more than 133,000.

Furthermore, the number of Direct addresses able to share protected health information (PHI) increased by almost 15 percent to more than 1.8 million. The number of patients involved in Direct also grew to more than 260,000 — a 45 percent increase over the same time last year.

“The DirectTrust network continues to expand impressively, with significant growth in both accounts and especially transaction traffic,” said DirectTrust President and CEO Scott Stuewe. “In fact, a closer look at our quarterly figures suggests an emerging trend with new use-cases for Direct exchange gaining traction as the average number of messages per Direct account jumped 25% in the last quarter.” 

Direct also helped to facilitate 65.5 million transactions, representing an increase of 41 percent over the same period last year. The total number of Direct exchange transactions has grown to nearly 497 million.

The nonprofit alliance’s nationwide network currently includes 36 HISPs in its Accredited Trust Anchor Bundle, five HISPs in its Governmental Trust Anchor Bundle, and 42 Accredited Organizations.

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