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CommonWell-Carequality Connection Now Generally Available

Commonwell has rolled out its connection to the Carequality Framework to all CommonWell members to improve interoperability.

CommonWell has made its Carequallity connection generally available to help improve interoperability.

Source: Thinkstock

By Kate Monica

- CommonWell Health Alliance recently announced its connection to the Carequality Framework is now generally available to all CommonWell members as part of an effort to improve interoperability nationwide.

CommonWell and Carequality-enabled healthcare providers will be able to connect and engage in bidirectional health data exchange for improved care coordination and better-informed healthcare delivery.

“We are proud to break down yet another barrier to interoperability by making this much-anticipated connection available to our members and their clients,” said CommonWell Health Alliance Executive Director Jitin Asnaani. “This increased connectivity will serve to empower providers with access to patient health data critical to their health care decision-making.”

Cerner and Greenway Health successfully completed a limited rollout of the CommonWell-Carequality connection using health IT infrastructure provided by CommonWell service provider Change Healthcare.

A handful of Greenway and Cerner users have been exchanging health data with Carequality-enabled providers through the connection. Since the connection went live in July, CommonWell-enabled providers have shared more than 200,000 documents with Carequality-enabled providers via bidirectional health data exchange.

Providers part of the limited rollout reported that the connection helped to streamline patient access to health information from previous medical encounters.

CommonWell used the initial rollout to validate and benchmark the link. Carequality and CommonWell members have also participated in a Joint Document Content Workgroup and issued recommendations about deploying encounter summary clinical document architecture (CDA) documents with clinical notes.

“The CommonWell-Carequality connection provides us the opportunity to directly access our patients’ records from the tertiary care centers in our region,” said Winona Health podiatrist Michael Donnenwerth, MD.

“We are now able to integrate new medications and problems into our EHR seamlessly, which provides the most accurate and up-to-date information possible,” Donnenwerth continued. “This flow of information has not only connected our medical records, but it has allowed us to truly provide better care as the ambiguity of outside doctor visits has been virtually eliminated.”

Carequality and CommonWell first began collaborating to advance interoperability in 2016, when the organizations forged an agreement intended to expand the reach of both networks.

As part of the agreement, CommonWell agreed to implement the Carequality Interoperability Framework. Then, Carequality and CommonWell developed a Carequality-compliant version of CommonWell’s record locator service. Finally, the Sequoia Project agreed to pursue further opportunities for collaboration between the two networks in the future.

The CommonWell-Carequality connection is an extension of this initial agreement.

“Thanks to the CommonWell-Carequality connection, our patients can have access to their medical records regardless of the EHR a health care facility uses,” said Lafayette General Health President and CEO David Callecod. 

“When data is made readily available, providers can make diagnostic and treatment decisions more quickly, and patients can recover sooner,” Callecod continued. “Better data means better communication with our patients and providers, better care and better outcomes. This is a very powerful tool!”

CommonWell members including Brightree, Evident and MEDITECH are currently in the process of subscribing to the connect to enable providers to go live with bidirectional health data exchange capabilities.

“Now that we’re able to get patient information across disparate providers through the CommonWell-Carequality Connection, I think it will reduce hospital readmissions,” said Carolina Family Health Centers Director of Health IT Roneisha Ward.

“By knowing what was done on the other end, we aren’t duplicating work in labs and referrals and patients don’t have to spend lots of time and money outside of the clinic,” she added. “It’s a win-win for the patient, the organization and the hospitals.”

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