News Archives

Improving Provider Satisfaction in the Post-HITECH Era

recent article in the New England Journal of Medicine examined the impact of the HITECH Act on EHR adoption and advised policymakers on ways to improve provider satisfaction and health IT innovation in the post-HITECH era.

Co-authors Beth Israel Deaconess CIO John Halamka, MD and Massachusetts eHealth Collaborative CEO Mickey Tripathi, PhD acknowledged that HITECH is responsible for encouraging most hospitals and physician practices to adopt EHR systems.

However, some of the act’s effects were less than beneficial. Provider satisfaction in particular took a hit as a result of stringent, complex regulations.

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

Document exchange firm Kno2 partners with ImageTrend

Kno2, a company that optimizes patient document exchange, has partnered with ImageTrend, a developer of software solutions, data analytics and services for emergency medical services (EMS), hospitals, community paramedicing (CP), critical care, fire and preparedness.

ImageTrend will integrate Kno2’s interoperability platform with ImageTrend Elite and Health Information Hub (HIH) to expand choices for achieving rapid, secure exchange of patient documentation between EMS agencies and hospitals, leading to improved care quality, patient safety and better outcomes reporting available to the EMS agencies.

ImageTrend, Kno2 launch secure document exchange tool for EMS

Kno2 and ImageTrend announced a partnership to enable emergency medical services and paramedic teams to more quickly and securely send, receive and query for electronic patient information, the companies said Tuesday.

Industry groups press Congress to back private-sector patient matching solutions

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services should provide technical assistance to private-sector led initiatives that promote patient safety by accurately identifying patients and matching them to their health information, 25 industry groups have informed members of Congress.

More Government and Industry Health IT Experts Join The Sequoia Project’s Board of Directors

Health IT Experts Provide Strategic Leadership and Expanded Opportunities for Cross-Collaboration of Interoperability Initiatives

Vienna, VA – February 6, 2017 – The Sequoia Project, the leading independent advocate for nationwide health data sharing, announced today the addition of six new members to its board of directors. The following two government liaisons and four industry representative board members will supplement the sitting board and will provide new perspectives in The Sequoia Project’s mission to make nationwide health data sharing a reality:

The three new industry members, Ahier, Horrocks and Stewart, bring health IT expertise as well as diverse interoperability perspectives to the non-profit’s board, representing health IT vendors, a regional health information exchange (HIE) network, and a health system. They join DeVault, who was re-elected, on a board that is active in guiding the future of The Sequoia Project and its initiatives, including the eHealth Exchange and Carequality.

“The Sequoia Project continues to attract industry and government leaders as we implement real-world health data sharing solutions for both providers and patients,” said Mariann Yeager, CEO of The Sequoia Project. “We look forward to our new board members shaping the strategic growth and impact of The Sequoia Project.”

Ahier, DeVault, and Stewart were selected by The Sequoia Project membership to serve a three-year term beginning this month. In addition, the board appointed Horrocks to complete the remainder of the 2017 term for another open member seat.

According to Ahier, “I’m excited to join the Sequoia Project’s Board of Directors and lend Medicity’s voice to the critical conversation around scalable clinical data exchange. Medicity, which is a business of Aetna, one of the nation’s largest health insurers, recently became a Carequality implementer and we already offer eHealth Exchange-validated services to our clients. I look forward to participating in Sequoia leadership and sharing insights to help continue the movement toward nationwide interoperability.”

Anthony said, “ONC collaborates with industry partners in many ways to help ensure health information flows when and where it is needed the most, I look forward to continued engagement with Sequoia Project and its members.”

DeVault commented, “As an early implementer in the Carequality Interoperability Framework and vigorous supporter of the eHealth Exchange network, Epic has a vested interest in the growth and success of The Sequoia Project and all of its initiatives. During my time with Sequoia, the board has been knowledgeable, committed, and effective. And so I am very pleased to continue to serve as a member of Sequoia’s Board of Directors. Together, we’re committed to making interoperability a reality for patients and providers across the country. We’ve made tremendous strides and I’m confident that this year will see even greater growth toward our ultimate goal of seamless health data exchange nationwide.”

Horrocks added, “Regional exchanges are looking for ways to move records beyond their service areas and to integrate tightly with EHRs. Sequoia’s Carequality Interoperability Framework can help us accomplish these goals on a nationwide basis. I’m excited to be a new member of the Sequoia Project’s Board of Directors and will advocate with my peer HIEs to support the speedy adoption of the national interoperability framework.”

Posnack said, “I’ve worked with CEO Mariann Yeager for a decade in the pursuit of increased access to and sharing of patient health data. By joining The Sequoia Project board, I hope to further align the non-profit and ONC mission for the benefit of patients, providers, and researchers.”

And Stewart said, “The Board of Directors in any organization plays a vital role in approving the way forward for that organization. I’m honored to be selected to the board and represent Dignity Health, one of the nation’s largest health systems. I look forward to working with The Sequoia Project and making sure providers’ voices are included in the conversation about the future of health information exchange.”

A complete list of all of The Sequoia Project Board of Directors, including government liaisons, can be found here: http://sequoiaproject.org/about-us/board-of-directors.

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

Healthcare’s Latest Interoperability Push

Recent collaboration among big-name EHR vendors signals a new push towards greater health information exchange, although barriers in the market still remain

Across the healthcare ecosystem, it’s hardly a secret that providers struggle to get pertinent medical information from exchange partners who use a different electronic health record (EHR) from their own. And if the provider wants to do something impactful with that health data—say receive it in a way that facilitates improvement in patient care, for example—the struggle becomes even more real.

Collaboration Aims To Boost Data Exchange, Improve Interoperability

Carequality and CommonWell Health Alliance have collaborated to boost data exchange and improve interoperability among providers. As part of the partnership, CommonWell will implement Carequality’s interoperability framework, allowing its members and clients to share data with any provider in the Carequality network. Initially, the collaboration will focus on allowing providers to request and retrieve patient records electronically from other providers more easily, but could be expanded to other areas within health IT, according to group spokespersons.