After surpassing a network population of 200 million, the CommonWell Health Alliance is now sharing electronic health information for a large portion of the US population-based Census projections.
Working to implement universal access to health data across the nation, the CommonWell Health Alliance is a nonprofit trade association of healthcare and technology groups. It operates a health information exchange (HIE) network of approximately 34,000 clinical sites.
This network membership growth came shortly after the organization celebrated its tenth anniversary. As it continues the process of becoming a candidate for Qualified Health Information Networks (QHIN), this network population is a milestone for the organization.
As a member of the QHIN, the CommonWell Health Alliance would be able to exchange information through the Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement (TEFCA).
"From a handful of providers in our first year to this significant number today, we've just kept working with our membership to grow sustainably nationwide," said CommonWell Executive Director Paul L Wilder in a press release. "What we've spent all these years building makes us exceptionally ready to help TEFCA succeed."
Healthcare industry leaders applauded CommonWell for this accomplishment.
"I commend CommonWell for reaching this impressive milestone," said Micky Tripathi, PhD, national coordinator for health information technology, in the press release. "We are grateful that CommonWell stepped forward to become a candidate to meet the rigorous TEFCA eligibility requirements, the terms and conditions of TEFCA participation, and for their commitment to a 12-month go-live timeline. We look forward to continuing to support all the QHIN candidates as they continue through the onboarding process to improve interoperability for providers and the patients they serve."
Representatives of Oracle Health, a founding alliance member, also spoke highly of CommonWell and anticipated more positive results.
"CommonWell's efforts are aligned with Oracle's mission to enable a more connected and open healthcare ecosystem that can help deliver better outcomes for patients and providers," said Sam Lambson, vice president of interoperability, Oracle Health, in the press release. "As a founding member, our customers have already realized significant benefits from the Alliance, and we look forward to the next chapter, as CommonWell moves forward in becoming a QHIN under the TEFCA framework."
This news comes a few months after the CommonWell Health Alliance added an EHR vendor to its network.
In March, an EHR vendor known as MEDHOST joined the CommonWell Health Alliance with the goal of advancing health data exchange. This allowed MEDHOST customers to facilitate the transfer of and expand access to patient data throughout the CommonWell network.
Patients could choose the route through which their information was shared during pre-registration. Integration with CommonWell ensures that providers can access health information from alliance participants through a single click within the EHR. Other benefits include auto-response to CCDA document requests and support meeting the 2022 IPPS measure for bi-directional communication with HIEs.