Electronic health record (EHR) interoperability continues to be a top priority in 2016 at both the state and federal levels. To this end, HIETexas joined Carequality, a public-private, multi-stakeholder collaborative led by The Sequoia Project that seeks to enable seamless connectivity across all participating health exchange networks.
With this new partnership, HIETexas began interoperability testing with Carequality members, specifically CareEverywhere and Surescripts. CareEverywhere is a vendor-deployed network of Epic-branded EHR programs and allows Epic EHR users to leverage Carequality to connect to other organizations across the nation. HIETexas has completed all tests with CareEverywhere in the test environment, and is beginning production testing. Additionally, testing is now being scheduled with Surescripts, a national health information network that supports e-prescriptions, and is expected to begin shortly. NextGen, Athena Health and eClinicialWorks have been contacted as part of the Carequality “initial rollout” group to gauge interest in connecting with HIETexas.
The interface costs of connecting networks can be prohibitive for smaller organizations such as local HIEs. By leveraging the HIETexas connection to Carequality members, local HIE networks in Texas and their participants (hospitals, physicians, and other health care providers), as well as providers in areas without a local HIE, can increase the total number of providers connected with minimal effort. Also, becoming a Carequality member ensures Texas has a voice in the development of Carequality’s legal terms, policy requirements, technical specifications and governance processes.
According to Tony Gilman, CEO of THSA, “Increasing the number of providers participating is critical to the success of HIE in Texas. By joining Carequality, we strive to increase provider connections and believe this approach will become a key strategy for supporting efficient and low cost connectivity in rural and other areas of Texas not currently covered by a local HIE network.”
Learn more about Carequality, including its members and information on its structure, here.