- Carequality recently announced more than 600,000 healthcare providers are utilizing its trusted health data exchange framework to enable network-to-network connectivity.
Membership of the Sequoia Project initiative includes eClinicalWorks, Epic, GE Healthcare, NextGen Healthcare, Surescripts, athenahealth, and others. Organizations across the industry currently use the framework to exchange over 2.4 million clinical documents per month.
“What’s so exciting about the Carequality framework is its inclusiveness and flexibility,” said Carequality Vice President Dave Cassel. “In about a year and a half, we’ve gone from a good concept, to a critical mass of nationwide exchange among diverse organizations. The speed with which this has occurred isn’t something we’re accustomed to from interoperability projects, historically.”
Cassel stated participating networks have assisted in enabling the Carequality’s rapid growth by achieving wide rollouts of the framework.
“Successfully delivering historical patient care information requires strong cross-market network alliances, which are in place and rapidly expanding,” said Surescripts CEO Tom Skelton. “Surescripts Record Locator and Exchange went live on the Carequality framework in 2016, immediately delivering value to increasingly consumer-minded patients by building trust with their care teams who now have the breadth of their medical information in hand.”
Carequality membership currently includes regional health information exchanges (HIEs), record locator services, EHR vendors, and eighteen other organizations currently in the onboarding process to implement the framework. Organizations currently implementing Carequality include consumer app vendors, health IT companies, and HIEs.
“Before Carequality, the healthcare industry struggled to achieve true care coordination, particularly when it came to integrating behavioral health and post-acute data, which accounts for nearly 20 percent of healthcare spending, with the rest of healthcare,” said Netsmart CEO Mike Valentine.
“This national framework provides real-time access to information from all healthcare settings and improves outcomes by empowering whole-person care; which is vital to bending the cost curve of treating a population that is more likely to have multiple chronic conditions and are some of the most expensive group to treat in healthcare,” he continued.
More than 50 percent of healthcare providers currently utilize the Carequality framework.
“Our goal is to make national-scale interoperability easily accessible for provider organizations and other stakeholders,” said Cassel. “If we’ve done our job well, users won’t even know we exist; they’ll just see improved capabilities within their home systems or networks.”
Denver Mental Health Center Implements Carequality Framework
Carequality has also recently been working to integrate behavioral and clinical health data for patients and providers at the Mental Health Center of Denver and acute care provider Denver Health.
The two Colorado-based healthcare organizations are working to connect through the Carequality interoperability framework to enable providers at both organizations to deliver more comprehensive behavioral and primary care.
Mental Health Center of Denver will implement Carequality through its Netsmart EHR to exchange behavioral EHR data with Denver Health, which utilizes an Epic EHR.
“The application of Carequality to our current Netsmart EHR solution has helped to open additional doors that create the best opportunity for true integration of mental and physical healthcare,” said Mental Health Center of Denver Vice President and CIO Wes Williams, Ph.D. “We are now able to exchange behavioral health data with the community-based care providers of the individuals we serve in an automated manner, while remaining compliant with current industry and federal requirements.”
Carequality’s use of consent management enables providers to exchange sensitive health data in a variety of care settings.
Both Denver Health and Mental Health Center of Denver are part of Colorado’s public health benefit program Accountable Care Collaborative (ACC). ACC is intended to ensure Colorado residents receive high-quality care and Medicaid reimbursements. Mental Health Center of Denver plans to connect with other ACC members for improved behavioral health data integration across Colorado healthcare organizations.
“The Mental Health Center of Denver has a long history of being progressive in the way they approach integrated, whole-person care,” said Netsmart CEO Mike Valentine. “By leveraging the power of the Carequality framework with their Netsmart platform, they are taking a giant step forward in their journey to deliver the most connected care and treatment possible.”
eHealth Exchange Launches Direct Messaging Pilot Program
Another Sequoia Project initiative — eHealth Exchange — is launching a pilot program with health IT solutions provider Document Storage Systems (DSS) to enable Direct messaging on the eHealth Exchange network.
The pilot program aims to improve care coordination with community health center by enabling health data exchange between more rural community care facilities and critical access hospitals (CAHs).
Government entities that opt to participate in the pilot project will have access to all Health Information Service Providers (HISPs) part of DirectTrust, as well as a comprehensive directory of provider Direct addresses.
DSS will comply with the eHealth Exchange Data use and Reciprocal Support Agreement (DURSA). DSS also partners with Superscripts.
“DSS Direct can immediately open a new channel for care coordination,” said DSS President and CEO Mark Byers. “Allowing more healthcare providers to securely share relevant health information. We are proud to be playing a key role in facilitating better coordination of care through the expansion of easy to implement encryption technology that provides better flexibility for both providers and patients.”
eHealth Exchange users will now be able to share complete summary of care documents (C-CDAs) and specific, relevant data through Direct messaging.
“Increasing access to community providers through Direct is only one part of a comprehensive and efficient data sharing solution for today’s federal agencies,” said Byers. “Letting providers choose how to communicate health data with the government will accelerate exchange participation to benefit all Americans, starting with the 120 million covered by the eHealth Exchange.”
The DSS Direct pilot expands on traditional Direct messaging by recommending users integrate DSS with consult and referral management system ReleDoc to allow organizations to track and manage patient referrals.