Carequality and the Potential Impact on Interoperability

The 501(c)3 Sequoia Project has taken on the task of bridging the gap between Electronic Medical Record systems, launching the Carequality Interoperability Framework. Their vendor-neutral, technology-neutral system has been quickly gaining traction; enrolling five major EMR players, including the previously restrictive Epic.

Could this be the interoperability breakthrough that physicians have been waiting for? Healthcare-informatics.com recently wrote about the changes and the future plans for the group.

 

Here’s the project summary:

  • eClinicalWorks, athenahealth, Epic, Surescripts, and NextGen Healthcare are the first adopters.

  • Epic is a notable participant in Carequality, as they were famously opposed to the CommonWell Health Alliance, a previous attempt at a coalition to work towards interoperability.

  • What makes this announcement meaningful is the commitment by these vendors to implement Carequality’s interoperability framework, including legal terms, policy requirements, technical specifications, and governance processes.

  • The first wave of adopter are expected to have live connectivity in the first quarter of this year.

  • All members have to agree to Sequoia’s Principles of Trust before being able to join.

What this means for independent physicians and their practices:

  • The public-private nature of Carequality, led by a non-profit in Sequioa Project, is helping them attract a range of vendors to their cause.

  • The days of not being able to pull up a patient’s health information because their previous provider was out-of-network are numbered.

  • Ultimately physicians and patients could be the real winners as interoperability creates the visibility needed to power longitudinal care across all of a patient’s providers.

  • It remains to be seen if Carequality will deliver on its promises, but with five major players already signed, it is clear that momentum is on the side of open information standards for the EMR, and an interoperable future for health care.