"An invitation has gone out to the [EHR] industry broadly," Schipfer says. "We've had probably 45 to 50 different companies express interest." CommonWell has been asking these prospects what time and resources they can commit to the consortium this year. Some of those discussions are with non-EHR vendors. And around the industry, I've heard that those vendors talking to CommonWell have been asked to sign non-disclosure agreements. The truth is more nuanced, according to Schipfer.
"We've got these two goals," he says. "One of them is creating this technology, the services to go help facilitate the pilot demonstration, so there's work to do on that. And then there's this collective goal around formation and open and transparent supporting of interoperability.
Starting with the second goal, Schipfer is quick to say "there are no… NDAs and so forth, as it relates to how we're trying to go form that organization. We're trying to do this in a very open format. It's a new thing for all of us, but we're just methodically going through creating that, and expect to make this extremely very open."
Adds McCallie: "The process of creating the interfaces necessary to make this system work is complicated and cumbersome, and so we have limited the participation to those discussions [to] the vendors who have committed resources to deliver what we settle on. So these are all people with skin in the game, who if they agree on, this is what we're going to do, that means they're going to take it back to their companies and build that software.