SOURCE: HealtheWay

Healtheway

February 24, 2014 11:08 ET

Carequality Launches Significant Industry-Wide Effort Focused on Achieving Interoperability Between Existing and Emerging HIE Networks

Healtheway Calls for Industry to Band Together to Transform Dream of Nationwide Health Data Sharing Into a Reality

ORLANDO, FL--(Marketwired - Feb 24, 2014) - Healtheway today announced the formation of Carequality (pronounced "care-e-quality"), a new initiative dedicated to accelerating progress in health data exchange among multi-platform networks, healthcare providers, electronic health record (EHR) vendors and health information exchange (HIE) 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. 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 healthcare 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. 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."

Industry stakeholders have expressed a strong preference to have these requirements developed through an industry-driven consensus process, with support and participation by the federal government. An industry-driven process should engage a diverse group of stakeholders, in an open, transparent, balanced and inclusive manner and focus on specific sets of capabilities prioritized by stakeholders.

Diverse Stakeholder Participation

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 U.S.

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.

Founding Membership: An Opportunity to Contribute

Any organization that joins Carequality by 4/1/2014 may be a founder in the initiative. To date, nearly two-dozen organizations have pledged to join Carequality. In addition, many others are pledging support for the effort, representing large and small care provider groups, retail pharmacies, clinics, EHR innovators and technology industry leaders.

26 Organizations have pledged a commitment to join Carequality as founders to date, 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
  • Walgreens

In addition to the founders, an additional 16 organizations have also expressed support for the Carequality vision and mission:

  • AEGIS.net
  • Alaska eHealth
  • Care Connectivity Consortium (CCC)
  • etHIN
  • GE Healthcare
  • Guthrie Health
  • Healthbridge
  • HEALTHeLINK
  • Marshfield Clinic
  • Medical University of South Carolina
  • MEDITECH
  • Michigan Health Information Network
  • National Association for Trusted Exchange (NATE)
  • OCHIN
  • Premier Family Physicians
  • RSNA

Feedback from Members

To learn more about why so many leaders in health IT are joining the Carequality effort, visit the following link to see member quotes providing their perspective: www.carequality.net/testimonials.html.

Learn More about CareQuality at HIMSS

To find out more about Carequality at HIMSS, visit the Healtheway / Care Connectivity Consortium (CCC) booth #8165.

About Carequality
Carequality is an industry initiative that enables health information networks to exchange data using a common interoperability framework. Carequality is an action-oriented collaborative, designed to allow existing initiatives and industry constituents to work together to accelerate meaningful health information exchange by enabling internetwork connectivity via an open marketplace for interoperability services, shared across existing and future exchange networks. For more information, visit www.carequality.net and follow us at twitter.com/carequalitynet.

About Healtheway
 
Healtheway is a non-profit public-private collaborative chartered to advance nationwide implementation of secure, interoperable HIE. Healtheway has been providing administrative support for a community of exchange partners, called the eHealth Exchange, and has served as a convener for that group's work since 2012. Healtheway is now expanding its focus, in accordance with its mission, to serve as a neutral convener for Carequality. For more information: www.healthewayinc.org.

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