News Archives

The Sequoia Project to Present at ONC’s 2nd Interoperability Forum

Non-profit to co-lead all-day track on patient matching; participate in diverse panel sessions

(Vienna, VA – August 1, 2018) – The Sequoia Project is pleased to announce it is presenting at The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT’s (ONC) 2nd Interoperability Forum on August 6th-8th, 2018 in Washington, DC.  This three-day event will bring together leaders from the ONC, federal partners, the healthcare industry, and the technology sector to learn about recent efforts to advance interoperability nationwide and to identify concrete actions in response to current interoperability barriers.

The Sequoia Project’s CTO/CIO Eric Heflin will co-lead the day-long patient matching track on August 7 beginning at 9:00 a.m. ET. This session seeks to identify areas of consensus regarding patient matching definitions and showcase innovative matching technologies and metrics.

“We are pleased to be taking part in ONC’s Interoperability Forum as it is a great opportunity to discuss the latest issues, share our expertise, and identify actions that can be taken to address key barriers to interoperability,” said Mariann Yeager, CEO of The Sequoia Project. “Patient matching is a vital piece of the interoperability puzzle and Eric will discuss some innovative research in this area.”

Dave Cassel, The Sequoia Project vice president for Carequality, and Didi Davis, The Sequoia Project vice president for conformance and interoperability, will participate throughout the content interoperability track on Tuesday. This track will review current and future plans to advance content interoperability via the US Core for Data Interoperability and will gather attendee feedback on quality of exchanged content and data types that are of emerging importance. In particular, Mr. Cassel will join Sequoia Project Board of Directors member Dr. Steven Lane, Clinical Informatics Director, Privacy, Information Security, and Interoperability at Sutter Health, for the 9:30-10:45 a.m. panel session, Reports from the Field: On Content Quality and Continuous Improvement Efforts. Ms. Davis will demonstrate The Sequoia Project Interoperability Testing Platform at the 1:30 p.m. panel session, Tooling Demos and Discussion.

“As the nation reaches a tipping point in connectivity, the focus is shifting to improving the information exchanged across that connectivity,” continued Ms. Yeager. “Patient matching capabilities, content quality, and other barriers are being tackled by committed stakeholders from across government and industry.”

On Wednesday, The Sequoia Project CEO Mariann Yeager will join Jeremy Wong, director of master data management services, for a demonstration of the Patient Unified Lookup System for Emergencies (PULSE), which is a nationwide health IT disaster response platform that can be deployed at the city, county, or state level to enable disaster healthcare volunteer providers to access health information when treating individuals displaced or injured by disasters.

“We are looking for new ways to leverage the hard-earned connectivity we’ve built,” explained Ms. Yeager. “We are eager to support emergency and disaster response workers in utilizing these tools in their planning and to support disaster response efforts. It will help individuals and families receive better care during and following disasters such as the recent California wild fires.”

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About The Sequoia Project

The Sequoia Project is a non-profit, 501c3, public-private collaborative chartered to advance implementation of secure, interoperable nationwide health information exchange. The Sequoia Project supports multiple, independent health IT interoperability initiatives, most notably: the eHealth Exchange, a rapidly growing national-level health information network; and Carequality, which is a national-level, consensus-built, common interoperability framework to interconnect and enable exchange between and among existing health information networks, much like the telecommunications industry did for linking cell phone networks. For more information about The Sequoia Project and its initiatives, visit www.sequoiaproject.org. Follow The Sequoia Project on Twitter: SequoiaProject.

Contact

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

eHealth Exchange to Become Carequality Implementer

Parent Organization, The Sequoia Project, to Update Corporate Structure While Remaining 501(c)3 Non-Profit

(Vienna, VA – May 10, 2018) – The Sequoia Project, a non-profit dedicated to solving health IT interoperability for the public good, announced today its intentions to update its corporate structure this summer. The new corporate structure will reflect the continued maturation of the organization and the significantly larger role that The Sequoia Project plays as the central convener for interoperability. The updated corporate structure will result in The Sequoia Project having two distinct subsidiaries; one for eHealth Exchange and one for Carequality.

The eHealth Exchange is one of the oldest and largest health information networks in the U.S., and Carequality is an interoperability framework that makes it possible for different health information networks to share records with each other electronically. The new corporate structure will assure that each of these vital initiatives has the governance and management resources that they require to continue flourishing.

The eHealth Exchange plans to become a member and implementer of Carequality later this year, thereby extending the eHealth Exchange’s reach to all other networks that also participate in Carequality. Jay Nakashima, the new vice president of the eHealth Exchange, will spearhead the network’s application to join Carequality and set the strategic direction for the network.

“For the last nine years, the eHealth Exchange has been the principal way the public and private sector share health information,” said Nakashima. “I’m honored to take the helm at this critical stage of the network’s evolution as we develop new services and features, beginning with operating as a separate legal entity and becoming a Carequality implementer.”

The eHealth Exchange network, which is working in 75 percent of all US hospitals, is leveraged by more than 15 electronic health record (EHR) technologies and 59 regional or state health information exchanges (HIEs). Four federal agencies (Centers for Medicaid and Medicare, Department of Defense, Department of Veteran Affairs, and Social Security Administration) participate in the network to share patient information with private sector partners as well as other agencies. In all, the eHealth Exchange supports secure exchange of the records of more than 120 million patients.

“Carequality’s success providing the national-level trusted exchange framework is predicated on our commitment to fairness and transparency,” said Dave Cassel, vice president of Carequality. “By reorganizing the eHealth Exchange and Carequality into separate legal entities, we further ensure unbiased, equitable treatment for the eHealth Exchange alongside every other implementer subject to Carequality oversight.”

So far, the Carequality framework has enabled more than 600,000 physicians to share health data across networks. Once the eHealth Exchange completes the Carequality application process, each eHealth Exchange network participant will have the option to add Carequality connectivity to bi-directionally share patient data with other Carequality-connected providers.

“The coming updates were driven by the significant growth and progress of the eHealth Exchange and Carequality,” explained Mariann Yeager, CEO of The Sequoia Project. “We can expect to keep the operational efficiencies, while expanding Sequoia’s focus on incubating new interoperability opportunities and overcoming impediments to health information exchange.”

Following the reorganization, The Sequoia Project will continue to bring together industry and government to transparently and inclusively develop solutions to the most pressing challenges of health data exchange. Thought leadership will be transformed into leadership action on topics like FHIR®, patient matching, and supporting disaster response efforts such as the Patient Unified Lookup System for Emergencies (PULSE).

The Sequoia Project will share additional updates later this summer as changes progress.

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About The Sequoia Project

The Sequoia Project is a non-profit, 501c3, public-private collaborative chartered to advance implementation of secure, interoperable nationwide health information exchange. The Sequoia Project supports multiple, independent health IT interoperability initiatives, most notably: the eHealth Exchange, a rapidly growing national-level health information network; and Carequality, which is a national-level, consensus-built, common interoperability framework to interconnect and enable exchange between and among existing health information networks, much like the telecommunications industry did for linking cell phone networks. For more information about The Sequoia Project and its initiatives, visit www.sequoiaproject.org. Follow The Sequoia Project on Twitter: @SequoiaProject.

Contact

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

Carequality Framework Membership Exceeds 600K Providers

Carequality recently announced more than 600,000 healthcare providers are utilizing its trusted health data exchange framework to enable network-to-network connectivity.

Membership of the Sequoia Project initiative includes eClinicalWorks, Epic, GE Healthcare, NextGen Healthcare, Surescripts, athenahealth, and others. Organizations across the industry currently use the framework to exchange over 2.4 million clinical documents per month.

Carequality Trusted Exchange Framework Demonstrates Nationwide Network-to-Network Connectivity

600,000+ Physicians exchanging more 2.4 million clinical documents per month under Carequality

(Vienna, VA – February 28, 2018) – Carequality, an initiative of The Sequoia Project, reported today that the traction and growth of its national-level trusted exchange framework is fueled by a straightforward process, which focuses on the key essentials for interoperability. To date, more than 1,250 hospitals, 35,000 clinics, and 600,000 health care providers are connected through the Carequality interoperability framework.

Clinical document exchange rate continues to accelerate.

“What’s so exciting about the Carequality framework is its inclusiveness and flexibility,” said Dave Cassel, vice president of Carequality. “In about a year and a half, we’ve gone from a good concept, to a critical mass of nationwide exchange among diverse organizations.  The speed with which this has occurred isn’t something we’re accustomed to from interoperability projects, historically.”

Nine pioneering Carequality members are live now, including athenahealth®, eClinicalWorks, Epic, GE Healthcare, Netsmart, NextGen Healthcare, OneRecord, Santa Cruz HIE, and Surescripts. Exchange has rapidly increased over the first year and a half of operation, with over 2.4 million clinical documents now being exchanged monthly across these organizations and their customers. Organizations leveraging this unique framework may dramatically expand connectivity of their existing network, providing their own clients new health data sharing options.

“Successfully delivering historical patient care information requires strong cross-market network alliances, which are in place and rapidly expanding. Surescripts Record Locator and Exchange went live on the Carequality framework in 2016, immediately delivering value to increasingly consumer-minded patients by building trust with their care teams who now have the breadth of their medical information in hand,” said Tom Skelton, Chief Executive Officer of Surescripts. “In just the last three months of 2017, we exchanged more than four million clinical documents with Carequality participants, effectively relieving the burden on patients and their loved ones to recall their clinical history and saving significant time by eliminating the need for support staff to manually field records requests.”

2017 Live Sites

2018 Live Sites

Cassel credits the role of the participating networks in achieving wide rollouts in a relatively short time. “We could never have seen the scope of rollout that has occurred so far, without well-established data sharing networks and programs being in place. They’ve done all the hard work of getting their members and customers wired in. What Carequality adds are the elements for the networks to take that individual success and compound it together.  In the end, it comes down to trust, which stems from the contractual governance but is validated through solid onboarding processes.”

“In order to deliver on the promise of interoperability, the industry needs to collaboratively create user-friendly solutions that provide universal access to health information,” said Evan Grossman, Vice President of Integration Services at athenahealth. “Through our partnerships with Carequality and other major networks, athenahealth is able to give providers the ubiquitous access that they need to gain a comprehensive view of their patients’ care. By utilizing a single gateway architecture, athenahealth clients need no special on-site configuration.  athenahealth can build and scale our network connections in the background, giving providers easy access to thousands of care sites directly in their EHR workflow. Through our work with Carequality, providers can access the right information at the right time and are enabled to feel present and prepared in each patient’s moment of care.”

In addition to the regional health information exchange, record locator service, personal health and electronic health record (EHR) vendors live now, eighteen other organizations have signed on to be implementers of the Carequality framework. Those in the onboarding process now include new kinds of service providers, consumer apps, and additional EHR vendors and HIEs.

“Before Carequality, the healthcare industry struggled to achieve true care coordination, particularly when it came to integrating behavioral health and post-acute data, which accounts for nearly 20 percent of healthcare spending, with the rest of healthcare,” said Netsmart CEO Mike Valentine. “This national framework provides real-time access to information from all healthcare settings and improves outcomes by empowering whole-person care; which is vital to bending the cost curve of treating a population that is more likely to have multiple chronic conditions and are some of the most expensive group to treat in healthcare.”

More than 50% of all health care providers in the country are now empowered to share health data under the Carequality Interoperability Framework. However, Carequality was designed to be largely invisible to physicians and other individual users.  “Our goal is to make national-scale interoperability easily accessible for provider organizations and other stakeholders,” Cassel explained.  “If we’ve done our job well, users won’t even know we exist; they’ll just see improved capabilities within their home systems or networks.”

“We’ve found that seamless integration of external clinical data into the GE Healthcare workflow is saving our customers time, and sharing data in real-time helps the healthcare community enhance care quality for shared patients and avoid unnecessary medical expense, “ said Jon Zimmerman, Vice President and General Manager of Value-Based Care Solutions at GE Healthcare. “Our cloud-based approach enables our customers to take full advantage of the rapidly growing Carequality.”

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What is Carequality?

Carequality is a national-level, consensus-built, common interoperability framework to enable exchange between and among health data sharing networks. Carequality brings together diverse groups, including electronic health record (EHR) vendors, record locator service (RLS) providers and other types of existing networks from the private sector and government, to determine technical and policy agreements to enable data to flow between and among networks, platforms, and geographies.

The Carequality Framework provides the essential elements for trusted national exchange, such as common rules of the road (including a Trusted Exchange Framework), well-defined technical specifications and a participant directory.

Contact

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

The Sequoia Project’s CTO/CIO Joins ONC’s U.S. Core Data for Interoperability Task Force

Brings Real-World Standards & Data Interoperability Implementation Experience

(Vienna, VA – February 21, 2018) – Eric Heflin, CIO/CTO for The Sequoia Project, has been appointed to the Health Information Technology Advisory Committee’s (HITAC) U.S. Core Data for Interoperability Task Force (USCDI). Established by the 21stCentury Cures Act (P.L. 114-225) the HITAC and its taskforces inform the work of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) by making policy, standards, and implementation specification recommendations for local and national health information access and exchange.

“Through its independently governed initiatives, The Sequoia Project has significant experience implementing national-scale health data exchange common agreements and trusted exchange frameworks that leverage the technical standards of others,” said Mr. Heflin.

The Sequoia Project supports multiple, independent health IT interoperability initiatives, most notably: the eHealth Exchange, the oldest, national public-private health data sharing network that includes four federal agencies, 75 percent of U.S. hospitals and 47 regional and state health information exchanges; and Carequality, an interoperability framework for trusted exchange among existing data sharing networks covering more than 600,000 physicians.

Prior to the Cures Act and HITAC, ONC was advised by both the Health Information Technology Policy Committee and the Health Information Standards Committee, the latter of which Mr. Heflin was an active member. The new USCDI Taskforce will provide recommendation and feedback on the USCDI structure and processes, such as classes, categorization, objective characteristics for promotion, and expansion plans.

“The Sequoia Project is honored to support ONC, from providing subject matter expertise to supporting the goals of the draft trusted framework proposed this winter,” continued Mr. Heflin.

In addition to Mr. Heflin’s appointment to the USCDI, The Sequoia Project’s experience is also represented on the HITAC by Board of Director Members John Kansky, of Indiana Health information Exchange, and Dr. Steven Lane, of Sutter Health.

About The Sequoia Project

The Sequoia Project is a non-profit, public-private collaborative focused on advancing implementation of secure, interoperable nationwide health information exchange. The Sequoia Project supports multiple, independent health IT interoperability initiatives, most notably: the eHealth Exchange, the oldest, national public-private health data sharing network; and Carequality, an interoperability framework for trusted exchange among existing data sharing networks regarding technical specifications and best practices, much like the telecommunications industry did for linking cell phone networks. For more information about The Sequoia Project and its initiatives, visit www.sequoiaproject.org. Follow The Sequoia Project on Twitter: @SequoiaProject.

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

Millions Connected through Carequality Interoperability Framework

During The Sequoia Project’s (@sequoiaproject) Annual Meeting, one of its key initiatives, Carequality, reported tremendous growth since it became operational in July of 2016. To date, more than 1,000 hospitals, 25,000 clinics, and 580,000 health care providers are connected through the Carequality interoperability framework.

New Members to the Advisory Council

Carequality welcomed 13 new members to the Advisory Council:

 

Gretchen Bebb, TheraTech Pathways

David Berkowicz, PatientPing

Ryan Bramble, CRISP

Robert Cothren, CAHIE (California Association of HIEs)

Doc DeVore, MatrixCare

Morgan Knochel, OneRecord – Co-Chair

Shannah Koss , Koss on Care

David Mendelson, IHE

AJ Peterson, Netsmart

Terri Ripley, OrthoVirginia

Niko Skievaski, Redox

Alan Swenson, Kno2 – Co-Chair

Brian Yeaman, Coordinated Care Health Network

 

The purpose of the Advisory Council is to inform the work of the Carequality Steering Committee and the final Carequality Interoperability Framework policies through its representation of broad constituent groups and a diverse array of perspectives.

 

The Council serves a valuable role in assuring the broadest set of interests are reflected in Carequality’s work. We strive to include representatives from across the entire healthcare industry and care continuum, and our new members fit that bill. They join an already diverse council, and we look forward to the varied perspectives they will bring to its work.

  

The Advisory Council Members do not have to be members of Carequality itself. We include all stakeholder voices regardless of membership to ensure a transparent and inclusive process for developing this national framework for health data exchange regardless of technology or geography.

 

Carequality shares updates, including on the Advisory Committee’s activities, monthly with the membership and the interested public.  Visit The Sequoia Project events calendar to find all our upcoming Carequality meetings.

 

Learn more about the Advisory Committee Responsibilities.

Apply Now!

White House convenes public, private sectors around digital health record interoperability

The White House’s Office of American Innovation will host health care leaders Tuesday to discuss electronic health record interoperability across the public and private sectors.

According to an agenda for the event, OAI leader Jared Kushner will kick it off with Seema Verma, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, before attendees move to working group sessions on the government’s role in EHR interoperability, technical standards and authentication, and more. HIStalk first reported news of the event.

More than Half of All Healthcare Providers in the U.S. are Connected Electronically through the Carequality Interoperability Framework

Healthcare Organizations are Exchanging More than 1.7 Million Clinical Documents per Month through Carequality

(Vienna, VA – December 5, 2017) – During The Sequoia Project’s Annual Meeting taking place this week, one of its key initiatives, Carequality, reported tremendous growth since it became operational in July of 2016. To date, more than 1,000 hospitals, 25,000 clinics, and 580,000 health care providers are connected through the Carequality interoperability framework.

To put this in perspective, that represents more than 50% of all health care providers in the country.

“When we first kicked off planning efforts for Carequality in 2014, we knew it was going to be big,” said Mariann Yeager, president of The Sequoia Project. “We had many of the biggest names in health care – including health care providers, technology vendors, pharmacies and others – committing to making Carequality work and implementing the framework once it was completed. And with today’s revelation about the rapid increase and scale of Carequality’s current operations, we’re delighted. We’re proud to have the opportunity to work with each and every Carequality participating network and to celebrate their groundbreaking work to interconnect networks across the nation. The health care industry and government partners banded together to make Carequality a reality, and we’re now seeing the fruits of that labor.”

Illustrating the breadth of Carequality’s reach, in October 2017 alone, more than 1.7 million documents were shared among health care organizations through the Carequality Interoperability Framework. The rate of exchange is rapidly accelerating each month, as two million documents were exchanged in total for the first 12 months, and nearly as many are exchanged now monthly. With existing implementers continuing to onboard clients, and more than a half dozen implementers expected to go live in the first quarter of 2018, there will be continued growth.

“Carequality’s success stems from the core principles of inclusivity and openness we laid out during early planning meetings,” said Dave Cassel, Vice President of Carequality, “We brought together competing vendors, providers large and small, HIEs, government agencies, pharmacies, and other types of health care organizations, allowing everyone to be heard. Open conversation and debate was encouraged, and we embraced transparency and openness in all processes. As a result, we created a national interoperability framework that works, nationwide. Our implementing networks continue to attract more and more hospitals, practices, and medical groups. Additional networks are coming on line that connect payers, many more providers, and even patients themselves as direct participants in their care. Stay tuned, because the document exchange and participation numbers are going to get a lot bigger.”

Carequality was born out of industry demand, shaped by industry and government collaboration, and now it is succeeding through industry support and participation. The end result is a national interoperability framework that is making giant strides toward achieving nationwide connectivity for health information exchange.

What is Carequality?
Carequality is a national-level, consensus-built, common interoperability framework to enable exchange between and among health data sharing networks. Carequality brings together diverse group, including electronic health record (EHR) vendors, record locator service (RLS) providers and other types of existing networks from the private sector and government, to determine technical and policy agreements to enable data to flow between and among networks, platforms, and geographies.

The Carequality Framework provides the essential elements for trusted national exchange, including common rules of the road (including a Trusted Exchange Framework), well-defined technical specifications and a participant directory.

About Carequality
Carequality is a public-private collaborative that facilitates agreement among diverse stakeholders to develop and maintain a common, national-level interoperability framework enabling exchange between and among data sharing networks. Carequality brings together a diverse group of representatives from the private sector and government to come to collective agreement on how to enable data to flow seamlessly between and among networks and providers, much like the telecommunications industry did for linking cell phone networks. For more information, visit www.carequality.org and follow us at twitter.com/carequality.

About The Sequoia Project
The Sequoia Project is a non-profit, 501c3, public-private collaborative chartered to advance implementation of secure, interoperable nationwide health information exchange. The Sequoia Project supports multiple, independent health IT interoperability initiatives, most notably: the eHealth Exchange, a rapidly growing health data sharing community of exchange partners sharing under a common trust framework and a common set of rules; and Carequality, which is a national-level, consensus-built, common interoperability framework to interconnect and enable exchange between and among existing data sharing networks, much like the telecommunications industry did for linking cell phone networks. For more information about The Sequoia Project and its initiatives, visit www.sequoiaproject.org. Follow The Sequoia Project on Twitter: @SequoiaProject.

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

The Sequoia Project’s Annual Meeting to Draw Health IT Leaders Nationwide to Discuss Data Sharing Progress and the Path Forward

Event to be held December 5-6 in Gaylord National Harbor, Maryland

(Vienna, VA – November 16, 2017) – The Sequoia Project, the leading independent advocate for nationwide health data sharing, announced today that its annual meeting will be held on December 5-6, 2017 in Gaylord National Harbor, Maryland. The event will draw health IT leaders from across the United States for an update on The Sequoia Project’s programs and initiatives.

Highlights from this year’s event will include:

  • Updates from Carequality, the eHealth Exchange and RSNA Image Share Validation
  • Presentations from recognized experts such as Micky Tripathi, CEO of Massachusetts eHealth Collaborative, and Genevieve Morris, Principal Deputy National Coordinator for Health IT for the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT
  • Lessons learned from experts implementing health IT interoperability throughout the country
  • Interactive workshops outlining the way ahead
  • Networking with current and potential health data sharing partners

The meeting will be held at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center, located outside of Washington, DC.  Details and a complete agenda can be viewed online at https://sequoiaproject.org/annual-meeting

Panels and topics will include:

  • Carequality’s Path to Nationwide Connectivity
  • The 21st Century Cures Act and You: Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement
  • Drowning in Data: Clinical Content Requirements for Success

“This has been an eventful year for The Sequoia Project, as we move toward our goal of comprehensive nationwide interoperability,” said Mariann Yeager, CEO of The Sequoia Project. “Our members are making health data interoperability history and we look forward to celebrating our collective successes and setting the course for progress in 2018 and beyond.”

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About The Sequoia Project

The Sequoia Project is a non-profit, 501c3, public-private collaborative chartered to advance implementation of secure, interoperable nationwide health information exchange. The Sequoia Project supports multiple, independent health IT interoperability initiatives, most notably: the eHealth Exchange, a rapidly growing health data sharing community of exchange partners sharing under a common trust framework and a common set of rules; and Carequality, which is a national-level, consensus-built, common interoperability framework to interconnect and enable exchange between and among existing data sharing networks, much like the telecommunications industry did for linking cell phone networks. For more information about The Sequoia Project and its initiatives, visit www.sequoiaproject.org. Follow The Sequoia Project on Twitter: @SequoiaProject.

Media Contact

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