First-of-its-kind effort to transform quality and cost effectiveness by enabling data liquidity across systems, settings and episodes of care
Top health care information technology (HIT) companies Cerner, McKesson, Allscripts, athenahealth, Greenway Medical Technologies and RelayHealth announced recently the launch of the CommonWell Health Alliance, planned to be an independent not-for-profit organization that will support universal, trusted access to health care data through seamless interoperability. This historic effort is aimed at improving the quality of care delivery while working to lower costs for care providers, patients and the industry as a whole.
The Alliance intends to be a collaborative effort of suppliers who are focused on achieving data liquidity between systems, in compliance with patient authorizations. The Alliance will define, promote and certify a national infrastructure with common platforms and policies. It also will ensure that HIT products displaying the Alliance seal are certified to work on the national infrastructure.
“Today’s announcement represents an inflection point in health care, with key industry leaders coming together to support the delivery of a national health information exchange,” said John Hammergren, chairman and CEO, McKesson Corporation. “The formation of this alliance takes health care a step closer to broad industry interoperability. A national and trusted health information exchange will break down the information silos in health care and should dramatically improve the quality and cost effectiveness of care delivery. Creating data liquidity between all HIT developers is fundamental to improving patient care, enhancing the vitality of the health care industry, and strengthening the long-term health of our nation.”
“We believe the industry needs to step up to the challenges of interoperability,” noted Neal Patterson, co-founder, chairman, CEO and president, Cerner. “If we can rise to the challenge as an industry, we have a chance to deliver a golden era of health care. It is a system where consumers not only have a right to their data, but also have the ability to mobilize it in the pursuit of better health. This alliance is about setting aside the admittedly tough politics of this issue to do what is right for the health care consumer. We at Cerner are proud to play a leadership role in this exciting effort.”
Elements of the Alliance’s national infrastructure will be tested in a local pilot within the next year. Early components will include the following core services:
“The formation of the CommonWell Health Alliance will be a significant step forward toward the electronic exchange of health information to support clinicians and patients,” said Janet Marchibroda, director of the Health Innovation Initiative at the Bipartisan Policy Center. “The founding members of the Alliance are focused on exactly the right foundational areas, and it’s terrific to see industry leaders stepping up to solve the problem of interoperability on behalf of providers and patients everywhere.”
“Allscripts’ vision has been to create a true Connected Community of Health. We believe open platforms are required to realize that vision and make the improvements our health care delivery system needs to dramatically improve outcomes while reducing cost,” said Paul Black, president and CEO, Allscripts. “This alliance provides a framework that will enable patient identification and record-sharing for providers across the nation. This is good for care providers, for patients and for the country. We are proud to be a founding member and to help lead this important effort.”
“Greenway has anticipated this evolution to a smarter health care system based on open collaboration and data flow,” said Tee Green, president and CEO, Greenway. “We’ve been telling caregivers the marketplace can provide it and sustain it, and they are right to expect it. Consumers are no different, and a patient-enabled approach to data access will foster a deeper and more efficient patient-provider relationship. Allowing data to flow more freely fits the needs of a mobile society just as providers are taking on more financial risk in coordinating care. We are committed to the Alliance goals and our ongoing participation as this initiative grows.”
“We’ve built athenahealth on the vision that health care needs an information backbone that facilitates and incents true health information exchange. However, the promise of the free flow of health information and the reality of it today are worlds apart,” said Jonathan Bush, CEO and chairman, athenahealth, Inc. “We support the CommonWell Health Alliance because we believe that being open matters, especially when it comes to patient care. CommonWell’s efforts to bring major developers together to pilot patient linking and matching across IT systems and care settings is an important step in the right direction. We look forward to helping lead these efforts as a founding member of the Alliance.”
Members of the Alliance are committed to collaborating with all HIT developers to realize the vision of integrated health care and encourage other HIT companies to join the CommonWell Health Alliance by visiting www.commonwellalliance.org. The founding members of the Alliance will be holding a press conference on March 4, 2013, from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. CT at the HIMSS 2013 Annual Conference and Exhibition in New Orleans. The event will also be livestreamed at www.webcasts.com/March4PressEvent. For more information, visit www.commonwellalliance.org.
About CommonWell Health Alliance
CommonWell Health Alliance is anticipated to be an independent not-for-profit trade association of HIT companies that will work together to create universal access to patient health care data. The Alliance will be open to all health information technology developers that are committed to making patient’s data available to themselves and providers regardless of where care occurs. Alliance members will support the belief that provider access to this data must be built-in to health information technologies at a reasonable cost for use by a broad range of health care providers and the patients they serve.
The founding members of CommonWell Health Alliance invite all HIT suppliers to join us in working together to provide seamless, trusted access to health information, in support of better, more cost-effective care for our patients and communities. For more information, visit www.commonwellalliance.org.
Cerner Corp. is contributing to the systemic change of health and care delivery. For more than 30 years Cerner has been executing its vision to make health care safer and more efficient. We started with the foundation of digitizing paper processes and now offer the most comprehensive array of information software, professional services, medical device integration, remote hosting and employer health and wellness services. Cerner systems are used by everyone from individual consumers, to single-doctor practices, hospitals, employers and entire countries. Taking what we’ve learned over more than three decades, Cerner is building on the knowledge that is in the system to support evidence-based clinical decisions, prevent medical errors and empower patients in their care.
Cerner solutions are licensed by approximately 10,000 facilities around the world, including more than 2,700 hospitals; 4,150 physician practices; 45,000 physicians; 550 ambulatory facilities, such as laboratories, ambulatory centers, behavioral health centers, cardiac facilities, radiology clinics and surgery centers; 800 home health facilities; 40 employer sites and 1,750 retail pharmacies.
McKesson Corporation, currently ranked 14th on the FORTUNE 500, is a healthcare services and information technology company dedicated to making the business of healthcare run better. We partner with payers, hospitals, physician offices, pharmacies, pharmaceutical companies and others across the spectrum of care to build healthier organizations that deliver better care to patients in every setting. McKesson helps its customers improve their financial, operational, and clinical performance with solutions that include pharmaceutical and medical-surgical supply management, healthcare information technology, and business and clinical services. For more information, visit us at www.mckesson.com.
Allscripts delivers the insights that healthcare providers require to generate world-class outcomes. The company's Electronic Health Record, practice management and other clinical, revenue cycle, connectivity and information solutions create a Connected Community of Health for physicians, hospitals and post-acute organizations. For more information, visit www.allscripts.com.
athenahealth, Inc. is a leading provider of cloud-based Best in KLAS electronic health record (EHR), practice management, and care coordination services to medical groups and health systems. athenahealth’s mission is to be the most trusted service to medical care givers, helping them do well by doing the right thing. For more information, visit www.athenahealth.com.
About Greenway Medical Technologies
Greenway Medical Technologies, Inc. delivers innovative software and business service solutions for healthcare providers through its PrimeSUITE platform. As a certified and fully integrated electronic health record, practice management and interoperability solution, Greenway PrimeSUITE helps improve care coordination, quality and cost-efficiency as part of a smarter, sustainable healthcare system. Thousands of care providers across primary care and more than 30 specialties and sub-specialties use cloud-based or on-premise Greenway solutions in healthcare enterprises, physician practices and clinics nationwide. For more information, visit www.greenwaymedical.com
RelayHealth, McKesson’s connectivity business, enables the trusted exchange of clinical, financial and administrative information between patients, providers, payers, pharmacies, pharmaceutical manufacturers and government agencies. RelayHealth processes nearly 16 billion healthcare transactions annually by integrating the delivery of high-quality care and improving the financial outcomes for its customers. For more information, visit www.RelayHealth.com.
SOURCE: CommonWell Health Alliance