- Carequality, an interoperability initiative of the Sequoia Project, recently announced that its interoperability framework now connects more than 600,000 providers, 1,250 hospitals, and 35,000 clinics nationwide.
“What’s so exciting about the Carequality framework is its inclusiveness and flexibility,” said Carequality Vice President Dave Cassel.
“In about a year and a half, we’ve gone from a good concept, to a critical mass of nationwide exchange among diverse organizations,” Cassel added. “The speed with which this has occurred isn’t something we’re accustomed to from interoperability projects, historically.”
Over 2.4 million clinical documents are now being exchanged monthly across these organizations and their customers, allowing entities to expand their network connectivity and provide clients with new health data sharing options.
Carequality members include personal health and electronic health record (EHR) vendors, regional health information exchanges (HIEs), and record locator services. These participating networks have played an integral role in the rapid expansion of Carequality, Cassel noted.
“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,” Cassel said. “What Carequality adds are the elements for the networks to take that individual success and compound it together.”
In addition to the nine members that are live now, 18 more organizations have signed on to join the Carequality framework. Those organizations in the onboarding process include new kinds of service providers, consumer apps, and additional EHR vendors and HIEs.
Organizations that leverage the Carequality framework can access patient data from across all healthcare settings. Providers will have a clearer picture of patients’ overall health, which can lead to more informed decision-making and ultimately reduce care costs.
“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 half of all healthcare providers in the country are now able to share health data under the Carequality Interoperability Framework. Cassel added that if the initiative is successful, Carequality will be largely invisible to physicians and individual users.
“Our goal is to make national-scale interoperability easily accessible for provider organizations and other stakeholders,” Cassel said. “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.”