Healtheway forms industry coalition to standardize health information exchange

ORLANDO, Fla. — Healtheway on Monday announced the formation of Carequality, a new initiative dedicated to accelerating progress in health data exchange among multiplatform networks, healthcare providers, electronic health record vendors and health information exchange vendors. Carequality is an open, transparent and inclusive industry-driven effort. It will convene stakeholders and facilitate industry consensus to develop and maintain a standards-based interoperability framework that enables information exchange between and among networks.

As physicians and hospitals become more accountable for the care they provide, information needs to flow freely and securely as patients move between different care providers. While substantial progress has been made to advance this type of connectivity, existing initiatives and networks generally work independent of one another, resulting in silos of connectivity, Healtheway noted. Carequality will bring together these existing initiatives and networks and provide a standardized framework for working together.

Carequality’s goal is to facilitate agreement on a common, national-level set of requirements that will enable providers to access patient data from other groups as easily and securely as today’s bank customers connect to disparate banks and user accounts on the ATM network. Once achieved, this level of health data interoperability will represent a quantum leap in the quality of health care available and reduce the cost to support interoperability.

“The new frontier in achieving nationwide, secure health data exchange involves building upon all of the existing great work across various consortia and networks, and tying it all together into a unified approach for the industry,” said Mariann Yeager, Healtheway’s executive director. “A group of organizations — including many of those most active today in achieving nationwide interoperability — approached Healtheway about serving as the neutral convener for industry stakeholders to come together," she said. "Together they will work through implementation-level issues to enable exchange between and among networks. Today, we are presenting a call for action to participate in Carequality and join this effort.”

A rapidly growing community of healthcare providers, payers, consumer groups, IT companies and software vendors are signing up to join this effort and shape the future of interoperability in the United States.

Carequality is just beginning its activities and is open to all stakeholders who wish to participate. Healtheway is issuing a call for all interested parties to join the effort and engage in Carequality.

The group’s work will be available to all industry stakeholders, regardless of membership so that any provider group, EHR vendor or exchange network can see how Carequality participants are accelerating exchange connections by using a single, non-proprietary interoperability framework.

To date, nearly two-dozen organizations have pledged to join Carequality, Healtheway noted, including:

  • California Association of Health Information Exchanges;
  • CareEvolution;
  • Community Health Information Collaborative;
  • CVS MinuteClinic;
  • eClinicalWorks;
  • Epic;
  • Greenway Health;
  • HIElix;
  • Hyland Software;
  • ICA;
  • Intermountain Healthcare;
  • InterSystems;
  • Kaiser Permanente;
  • lifeIMAGE;
  • MDI Achieve;
  • Medfusion;
  • Medicity;
  • MedVirginia;
  • Mirth;
  • Netsmart;
  • New York eHealth Collaborative;
  • Optum;
  • Orion Health;
  • Santa Cruz Health Information Exchange;
  • Surescripts; and
  • Walgreens. 
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