Two Networks Pledge to Work Toward Interoperability
Participating Carequality members will be able to subscribe to the CommonWell record locator service. A pilot test will begin in the first half of 2017.
Sometime before mid-2017, one of the greatest divides in health IT today will start to be bridged.
Communities supporting two of the leading HIT data exchange networks, managed by CommonWell Health Alliance and Carequality, will begin participating in pilot programs to bring each network's most compelling service to members of the opposite network, according to a joint announcement this month.
Participating Carequality members will be able to subscribe to the CommonWell record locator service, previously available only to members of CommonWell, or to its clients and customers. Access to the patient-matching technology returns a variety of results based on the patient name specified in the request.
Conversely, CommonWell participants will be able to begin sending directed health information exchange queries to systems supporting the Carequality Interoperability Framework, in order to receive relevant documents for a designated patient at a designated setting of care.
Full deployment of both services will arrive near the end of 2017 or in early 2018, officials say.
Company officials noted that each service is opt-in, but that once providers opt in, they will be obligated to "share and share alike" and respond to queries from other participating providers as they would expect those providers to respond to their own queries.
Previous Roadblocks Thwarted Interoperability
CommonWell, formed in 2012 by Cerner, athenahealth, and other EHR and HIT vendors—but with the notable exception of Epic—was followed by the activation in mid-2016 of Carequality.
The Carequality framework encompassed Epic, eClinicalWorks, athenahealth and a variety of other HIT vendors.