- eClinicalWorks will now allow users to connect with both CommonWell Health Alliance and Carequality with a new self-service option.
Over 400 health systems have already connected to the interoperability service providers in an effort to improve health data exchange with acute care sites across the country. The venture is intended to improve care coordination in a variety of care settings to promote more complete patient health data at the point of care.
"The self-service module for activating interoperability worked quite wonderfully for us," said independent Endocrinologist Renuka Boyapalli, MD. “We were already live on CommonWell, but we do have some patients who go to other hospitals in the area that use Epic. We activated Carequality, and within minutes we were able to retrieve CCDAs from the University of California, Los Angeles on a few of our patients.”
The module enables users to choose a global consent model, view available connections, and register to connect to the Interoperability Hub. The module also integrates patient health data into provider EHR workflows.
"CommonWell Health Alliance is committed to the simple vision that health data should be available to individuals and providers regardless of where care occurs," said CommonWell Health Alliance Executive Director Jitin Asnaani. “Our person-centric services enable scalable, secure and reliable interoperability for our members and their customers across the nation.”
After healthcare organizations connect to interoperability networks per patient, eClinicalWorks automatically retrieves health data from external systems and integrates them into Progress Note when the patient arrives to the specific care site. Automating this process allows for a simpler, faster onboarding process.
"One of the principles behind the founding of Carequality was that interoperability needed to be easier," said Carequality Vice President Dave Cassel. “Ensuring that physicians and other providers have access to the information needed to support patient care is a huge part of our mission, but for interoperability to achieve its full potential, it also needs to be easy for those physicians to participate.”
The new module is another step toward promoting interoperability across health IT companies, networks, and care settings.
“As a member of CommonWell Health Alliance and implementer of Carequality, the seamless integration for patient linking with both, ensures providers have complete and accurate patient information,” said eClinicalWorks CEO and Co-Founder Girish Navani.
In 2016, CommonWell and Carequality made an agreement to expand the reach of their networks and improve interoperability.
The agreement included three provisions. CommonWell agreed to implement the Carequality legal terms, policy requirements, technical specifications, and governance processes. Next, Carequality and CommonWell developed a Carequality-compliant version of CommonWell’s record locator service. Finally, CommonWell and Carequality’s parent organization—the Sequoia Project—agreed to adopt these initial interoperability and health data exchange activities as well as future collaboration opportunities as they arise.
This new eClinicalWorks module further builds on previous collaborative initiatives between the two interoperability services providers and encourages cross-network collaboration.
Earlier this year, eClinicalWorks agreed to pay $155 million to settle allegations that the health IT company had misled customers about the certification of its EHR technology and paid some customers kickbacks in return for positive product promotion.
The settlement has impacted user opinions of EHR vendors in general. A study in July found over one-third of surveyed providers became more suspicious of all EHR vendors as a direct result of the lawsuit.
However, the lawsuit reportedly has not had a detrimental effect on the eClinicalWorks consumer base, with only four percent of all surveyed users stating an intent to terminate their contract early and find a new EHR vendor right away.