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Initial Providers Go Live with CommonWell-Carequality Connection

Select Cerner and Greenway Health users have gone live with a CommonWell-Carequality connection.

CommonWell and Carequality have made steps to establish a connection to improve health data exchange.

Source: Thinkstock

By Kate Monica

- CommonWell has met all Carequality requirements to launch a CommonWell-Carequality connection, and initial providers using Cerner and Greenway Health users have gone live with the connection intended to advance seamless nationwide health data exchange.

This update comes from a recent blogpost from CommonWell Health Alliance Executive Director Jitin Asnaani.

With some providers using Cerner and Greenway Health now live on the CommonWell-Carequality connection, CommonWell can validate and benchmark the link.

“We are still on track to make this generally available to our members, and in turn, their participating providers and health care systems, by the end of summer,” stated Asnaani. “We know they are as excited as we are to make this next step forward in improving access to health data nationwide.”

The limited roll-out of bidirectional health data exchange connections is part of a mission to connect the CommonWell network to the Carequality Interoperability framework.

“This currently limited production use is the beginning of a broader effort to increase health IT connectivity nationwide by enabling CommonWell subscribers to engage in health data exchange through directed queries with Carequality-enabled providers, and vice versa,” said Sequoia Project Director of Marketing Communications Dawn Van Dyke in a Carequality blog post.

“Diligent work has been done by both CommonWell and Carequality as well as CommonWell subscribers and Carequality implementers since the December 2016 announcement. As shared earlier this year, CommonWell is still on track to make the services Generally Available to its subscribing members, and in turn, their participating providers and health care systems, by the end of summer.

“The select CommonWell initial sites have shared 4,000 documents with other Carequality-enabled physicians to-date,” she continued. “With the help of these initial sites, CommonWell will collaborate with Carequality participants to complete volume benchmarking, user experience validation, and process refinement.”

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 workgroup aims to raise the bar with respect to recommended standard elements that are made generally available within the industry,” wrote Van Dyke. “Carequality will incorporate these recommendations into an updated Implementation Guide for all networks participating in the framework.”

These efforts to promote collaboration between Carequality and CommonWell began with an agreement in 2016 intended to expand the reach of both networks and advance standardized health data exchange.

DirectTrust sees 52 percent growth in patient use of Direct exchange

Elsewhere in health data exchange news, DirectTrust recently announced it has achieved continued steady growth in number of Direct exchange users, addresses, and transactions with patient use of Direct exchange jumping 52 percent in the second quarter of 2018.

The number of trusted Direct addresses able to share protected health information (PHI) also grew by 19 percent.

“The adoption of Direct interoperability continues to grow as an alternative to fax and single-channel electronic transport of health information because of Direct's comparative cost savings, its integration with certified EHR technology used by providers, and its high level of security and identity controls,” said DirectTrust President and CEO David C. Kibbe, MD. 

“Providers still face challenges, primarily those of implementation and workflow, and of standardizing features and functions to make EHRs easier to use and more interoperable,” continued Kibbe. “Patients face a different challenge:  the need for providers to be more open to patients accessing and moving their health data via Direct messaging.  We are, however, seeing progress.”

The number of healthcare organizations served by DirectTrust health information service providers (HISPs) and using Direct exchange also increased nearly 23 percent to more than 121,000 organizations compared to the same time last year.

Additionally, FIGmd and Haven Health solutions newly joined the DirectTrust network.

“The increase in the number of organizations and individuals with DirectTrust addresses is evidence that healthcare professionals and consumers recognize and appreciate the value of the data liquidity and trusted identities,” said DirectTrust Board Chariman and MaxMD CTO Bruce Schreiber.

Editor's note: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated the DirectTrust network includes 117 organizations. The DirectTrust network includes 120,000 healthcare organizations. 

Membership in the DirectTrust alliance currently includes 117 organizations. 



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