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CommonWell Reveals New Program to Connect Providers, Vendors

CommonWell launched a new program to connect provider and developers to its health information network.

Health data exchange, interoperability at CommonWell

Source: CommonWell

By Kyle Murphy, PhD

- Prior to the start of HIMSS where the association first unveiled itself to the public, CommonWell Health Alliance announced a new program for connecting stakeholders to its health information network through its existing CommonWell members.

“The CommonWell network enables participating practitioners to meaningfully engage in data exchange to provide the best care possible for their patients,” said Executive Director Jitin Asnaani. “With this new option, organizations interested in connecting to CommonWell, such as EHRs, can dramatically reduce the development effort required to connect to the CommonWell network and enable their clients to participate in — and derive value from — this data sharing.”

Through the CommonWell Connector Program, health IT vendors and providers can work with CommonWell members to develop products and services accessible to participants in the network. The trade association is marketing the program as a means of ensuring compliance with changing regulation and requirements.

“With anticipated regulatory changes on the horizon for the health IT industry, connectivity to the CommonWell network can help health care organizations meet their health information exchange (HIE) performance measures for the CMS Promoting Interoperability Programs and 21st Century Cures, in particular, the upcoming regulation on Data Blocking and the Trusted Exchange Framework & Common Agreement (“TEFCA”),” CommonWell stated in the announcement.

Two CommonWell members have already signed on to become Connectors — Health Gorilla and InterSystems. The former will begin offering the connection this summer while the latter has plans to go live later this year.

“The health care community has long been excited about the ability of CommonWell and Carequality to share patient data across providers nationwide,” said Health Gorilla Co-founder & CEO Steve Yaskin. “With this first-of-its-kind collaboration, we’re excited to give health systems, EMRs, and health tech solutions an easier way to connect to this national network to improve patient care and engagement.”

Health Gorilla’s FHIR-based platform enables the retrieval of patient data across both CommonWell and Carequality, following the recent agreement between the two health information networks to connect.

“I’ve been eager to access CommonWell and Carequality in the Health Gorilla platform to better coordinate care for my patients and more accurately understand their full medical history,” stated El Camino Hospital’s Medical Director Shyamali Singhal, MD. “Being able to retrieve medical records for my patients from wherever they received care is absolutely critical to delivering a patient-centered experience.”

The program should provide unique opportunities for developers to bring useful services to an audience seeking new ways for extracting meaningful from data.

“As a CommonWell Connector, InterSystems will enable users of our HealthShare suite of connected health solutions to utilize a vast network of clinical data,” said InterSystems Vice President of HealthShare Don Woodlock. “Doing so gives a more comprehensive view of the patient and drives care toward the triple aim of improving the health of populations, reducing the cost of care, and improving the patient’s overall experience.”

According to a KLAS report, the majority of EHR vendors with sizeable market share had enabled providers to connect with CommonWell or Carequality by the end of 2018.

“With CommonWell and Carequality linked, the biggest technical obstacle to widespread patient-record sharing has been removed,” noted the authors. “The healthcare industry is rapidly approaching the point where an organization using any of the major acute care/ambulatory EMRs should be able to easily connect to other provider organizations with minimal cost and effort.”

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