News Archives

Social Security and Veterans Affairs partnership means faster disability decisions for veterans

In late 2016, the Social Security Administration announced the launch of a new Health IT initiative with the Department of Veterans Affairs that enables all Social Security disability case processing sites to receive medical records electronically from all VA facilities.

Veterans will receive a faster decision on their Social Security disability claim, speeding them and their dependents through this new process.

Both agencies will save time and money with an automatic request through the eHealth Exchange.

Why EHR Interoperability Requires Health IT Infrastructure

Healthcare organizations are still challenged by EHR interoperability and are seeking health IT infrastructure tools to ensure data is accurately, efficiently, and securely shared.

Eagle Physicians and Associates and Cone Health announced the successful exchange between the eClinicalWorks cloud-based EHR and the Epic EHR for improved EHR interoperability among multiple locations and health systems. Eagle Physicians needed a way to provide better quality care to patients as those individuals move among locations.

VA to Adopt Pentagon’s Electronic Health Records System

Health records at the Department of Veterans Affairs will eventually move to the same system used by the Pentagon, the VA’s top official announced Monday.

The move marks a shift from the VA’s previous plan to develop its own system to digitize records. It will bring the agencies closer to sharing veterans’ health information in an effort to solve a problem that has plagued the two departments for decades.

You’re having a heart attack. What does the ER know about you?

Almost all hospitals and physicians in the United States have put their patients’ health records onto computers. But one of the goals of that transition remains a work in progress: building a nationwide system that would make key information about a patient available anywhere — in any hospital, clinic or doctor’s office.

Putting Health IT Interoperability into Action at CommonWell

CommonWell is expanding health IT interoperability both in terms of users and capabilities.

In a matter of five years, the CommonWell Health Alliance has gone from a concept for advancing health IT interoperability to a means of enabling health data exchange between providers using various EHR technologies.

Vermont Information Technology Leaders, Inc. and Medicity Launch External Connection with the Department of Veterans Affairs

Vermont Information Technology Leaders, Inc. (VITL), operators of the Vermont Health Information Exchange (Vermont HIE), and Medicity, the leading provider of population health management solutions, today announced that VITL has launched its external connection to the Veterans Health Information Exchange (VHIE), also known as the Virtual Lifetime Electronic Record (VLER) program. This makes it easier for providers inside and outside the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to share health information for the more than 48,600 veterans who live in Vermont.

The long and winding road to patient data interoperability

Most of the time when Dr. James Tcheng gets a new patient from outside of Duke Health, he starts with a bundle of paper. After his secretary receives a patient’s records—either directly from another doctor’s office or after a request is faxed—and opens them, Tcheng goes through the information, with a sheet of 8½ x 11 paper at his side for taking notes. He starts, usually, with the summary notes. Sometimes, almost all of what he reads is irrelevant. But he must go through everything nevertheless, making sure he misses nothing.

Price at Health Datapalooza: ‘Rules of the road’ are needed for ‘true interoperability’

his was Price’s health IT first speech after being confirmed as the HHS Secretary and he has a lot to say about the hurdles in the digital health space, including the challenges the industry has been facing with data entry.

Achieving true interoperability is no easy task. But the Obama administration made some progress with the Precision Medicine Initiative, which aims to use health data for improving research and care, the Interoperability Standards Advisory Task Force and The Sequoia Project.

Sequoia Project, DirectTrust tout Interoperability Surge

Two major interoperability groups, Sequoia Project and DirectTrust, are exchanging more health records and connecting more provider sites than ever, the companies announced this week.

The Sequoia Project – whose members include Carequality, eHealth Exchange, and RSNA Image Share Validation – marked its fifth anniversary by touting across-the-board growth: The number of health organizations participating in its in initiatives, the size of geographic reach and the volume of data exchanged are all on the rise.

The Sequoia Project Celebrates Five Years with Significant Growth in Enabling Seamless, Nationwide Health Data Exchange

Growth Marked by Increases in Participation, Number of Health Records Exchanged and Connectivity Expansion in All 50 States

Vienna, VA – April 26, 2017 – The Sequoia Project, the leading independent advocate for nationwide health data sharing, celebrates its fifth anniversary this month by announcing that its initiatives – Carequality, eHealth Exchange, and RSNA Image Share Validation – have grown in every conceivable way over the past year, by health organization participants, by geographic reach, and by the sheer number of health records exchanged electronically.

Today, the Carequality Interoperability Framework is widely implemented by more than 19,000 clinics, 800 hospitals, and 250,000 providers. This marks a dramatic increase from one year ago, when Carequality published the nation’s first interoperability framework for trusted health data exchange between and among networks, and 10 pioneering organizations signed up to implement.

The Carequality framework provides a unified health data sharing agreement that outlines how health records are shared. This eliminates the need for individual health organizations to negotiate one-off legal agreements every time they wish to share information with another health organization, which is both time-consuming and costly.

Another Sequoia initiative realizing year-over-year growth is the eHealth Exchange, the largest health data sharing network of its kind in the US. The eHealth Exchange network, which began more than eight years ago as an initiative of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC), has grown steadily over the past several years under the stewardship of The Sequoia Project, achieving a 35 percent growth in participation last year alone. To date, the eHealth Exchange connects participants in all 50 states, including four federal agencies, 65 percent of all U.S. hospitals, 46 regional and state HIEs, 50,000 medical groups, and more than 3,400 dialysis centers and 8,300 pharmacies. Combined, the eHealth Exchange supports more than 109 million patients across private, military, veteran, and public care settings.

Both, the Carequality Interoperability Framework and the eHealth Exchange network, are continuing to evolve not only in size but also capabilities and support for its participants beyond standard query for documents utilized by other initiatives around the country. The eHealth Exchange network now allows a dozen use cases including most recently image sharing and life insurance. This month, Carequality launched a new workgroup to improve the content of the health records exchanged.

“We’re experiencing phenomenal growth in building seamless, nationwide health data exchange that unifies providers and patients through a common set of technology standards and rules,” said Mariann Yeager, CEO of The Sequoia Project. “Our comprehensive approach allows health records to follow the patient wherever they receive care, in an integrated way. Using our Carequality framework and eHealth Exchange network, physicians can access a more complete health history while treating patients. This enables them to improve better care coordination for patients by leveraging health IT interoperability.”

The Sequoia Project’s RSNA Image Share Validation initiative uses rigorous technical testing to ensure interoperable and efficient exchange of medical images. This benefits patients and providers with improved efficiency, reduced costs, enhanced quality of care, and standards-based interoperability to spur innovation. This winter, seven companies achieved validation and still others are in the process as the program transitions from pilot to production mode.

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Contact: Dawn Van Dyke
Phone: (571) 346-2439
Email: dvandyke@sequoiaproject.org