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Public-Private Cooperative to Advance Real-World, Pragmatic Solutions to Interoperability Beginning with Information Blocking

 (Vienna, VA – October 17, 2018) – The Sequoia Project, a non-profit dedicated to solving health IT interoperability for the public good, announced a new public-private cooperative called Interoperability Matters. This new cooperative invites experts from across the healthcare and healthcare IT communities to identify, prioritize, and collaborate on the most pressing, discrete challenges to nationwide health information sharing.

“The pipes to enable health information exchange have been laid by organizations like Carequality, CommonWell, DirectTrust, eHealth Exchange and health information exchange organizations (HIEs),” explained Mariann Yeager, CEO of The Sequoia Project. “However, there are remaining real and perceived barriers to making exchange more effective and seamless – but not for long.”

The Interoperability Matters Advisory Group will prioritize critical issues that have the potential to improve nationwide health information exchange. Healthcare subject matter experts and critical stakeholders from across the private sector and government will form the Interoperability Matters workgroups. The Advisory Group will meet regularly to review workgroups’ progress and recommendations, and it will provide feedback. After getting input from the Advisory Group, workgroups will share their recommendations for public input to obtain even broader feedback from those impacted by the work. The final work product will be a consensus-built resource and plan of action for the healthcare sector to leverage and implement to minimize or eliminate that barrier.

The Interoperability Matters forum will focus first on information blocking in anticipation of the proposed rule from Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC). Additional priorities (and workgroups) will be identified at the upcoming Sequoia Project Annual Meeting.

“Distinguishing legitimate policy differences from information blocking requires deep understanding of complex policy, technical and business issues,” said Yeager. “Our Interoperability Matters cooperative will focus on the practical implications of information sharing practices, and it will inform information blocking public policy.”

The healthcare and healthcare IT community are encouraged to participate in the Interoperability Matters forum regardless of any affiliation with The Sequoia Project, ensuring a diverse representation of stakeholders. Interested individuals and organizations can apply now online at https://sequoiaproject.org/interoperability-matters/.

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

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 focuses on solving real-world interoperability challenges, and brings together public and private stakeholders in forums like the Interoperability Matters cooperative to overcome barriers. Sequoia also supports multiple, independently governed interoperability initiatives, such as the RSNA Image Sharing Validation Program and the Patient Unified Lookup Service for Emergencies (PULSE), a system used by disaster healthcare volunteers to treat individuals injured or displaced by disasters.  Sequoia previously supported the successful launch and growth of the eHealth Exchange health information network; and Carequality, which operationalized a national-level, interoperability framework to interconnect health information networks. Both eHealth Exchange and Carequality transitioned to operate under their own corporate structure and governance in October 2018.  For more information about The Sequoia Project and its initiatives, visit www.sequoiaproject.org. Follow The Sequoia Project on Twitter: @SequoiaProject.