Carequality FAQs

June 7, 2016 |
Carequality Blog

Carequality is a relatively new interoperability initiative of The Sequoia Project. We know you might have lots of questions, so below we have answers to the most frequently asked questions about Carequality. This is a growing list. If you have a question you don’t see below, please email us at

How is Carequality pronounced?
Care “e” quality

What is Carequality?
Carequality is a public-private initiative that enables widespread, operational connectivity between and among existing health IT data exchange programs and platforms. This connectivity is enabled by the Carequality Framework, which was developed and is maintained through a broad-stakeholder, consensus-based approach that brings together a diverse group of representatives from the private sector and government. The Carequality Framework does for health IT what the banking industry has accomplished in connecting ATM and ACH networks.

How is Carequality different?
Carequality is the only initiative implementing a common interoperability framework, driven by a public-private consensus process, to connect existing data exchange programs and platforms.
The essential elements that make up the framework to enable this widespread interoperability include:

  • Common rules of the road, based on collaboratively developed principles of trust
  • Implementation guides for each use case, defining technical, business, and policy requirements specific to that use case
  • A directory of participants across the data sharing networks

Is Carequality a data sharing network?
Carequality is not a data sharing network. It is a framework of legally binding business, policy, and technical requirements that allow the members of existing data sharing networks to communicate with the members of other networks, just as cell phone users can call other users regardless of their carrier.

As a physician, how do I join Carequality?
Carequality works by connecting what we call Implementers, who might be HIEs, EHR vendors, payers, clearinghouses, or other types of organizations. What these different groups have in common is that they can provide connectivity into data from many different sources. From a physician perspective, it’s analogous to using your cell phone; you have to sign up with a carrier, but once you do, you can call anyone, regardless of who they’ve chosen as their carrier. Just as you might get cell service through Verizon or AT&T, you might get Carequality connectivity through a local HIE, your EHR vendor, or some other service provider. Visit our Provider page for more information.

Who is involved in Carequality?
Carequality was founded by 35 members who supported the launch and continue to contribute to our ongoing success. Since the launch, many more organizations have joined as members or supporters, and volunteers from over 80 organizations across a diverse spectrum of government and the private sector have participated in Carequality’s work:

  • Physicians
  • Consumers
  • Government agencies
  • Data sharing networks
  • Payers
  • Emergency medical services
  • Behavioral health
  • Acute care
  • Long term care
  • Hospice & home care
  • Research
  • Public health
  • Vendors
  • Standards Development Organizations (SDOs)
  • Pharmacies

How does Carequality ensure broad stakeholder representation?
Carequality ensures broad stakeholder representation by providing a forum that is platform neutral, technology neutral, and inclusive of the viewpoints of stakeholders from across the care continuum. Each of Carequality’s constituent bodies – the Steering Committee, the Advisory Council, and the Work Groups – is chartered to ensure membership across a variety of stakeholders. In particular, the Advisory Council is specifically designed to be a larger body that will provide a voice for a wide set of stakeholders.

Who has signed to be a Carequality Implementer?
Organizations from across the healthcare industry have begun adopting this legally-binding Framework.
Organizations began adopting the Framework in January 2016, many are now live and enabling cross-network exchange for their customers.

  • athenahealth
  • Coordinated Care Oklahoma
  • eClinicalWorks
  • Epic
  • GE Healthcare
  • Inovalon
  • Integrated Data Services
  • Kno2
  • Medicity
  • Netsmart
  • NextGen Healthcare
  • OneRecord
  • Surescripts
  • Texas Health Services Authority/ HIETexas

What is the Carequality Interoperability Framework?
The comprehensive Framework consists of multiple elements, including legal terms, policy requirements, technical specifications, and governance processes, which operationalize data sharing under the previously approved Principles of Trust. All of these elements were developed under Carequality’s broad-stakeholder, inclusive process. The Framework is now available for health information exchange networks, vendors, payers, and others across the healthcare ecosystem to adopt, providing a practical approach to unlocking previously unseen levels of connectivity.

Organizations that adopt the Carequality Interoperability Framework can establish data sharing partnerships more quickly and uniformly than ever before, by leveraging existing networks and business relationships. Many physicians already are members of a health information exchange (HIE), or have access to connectivity through a vendor or service provider. The Framework allows these existing operations to access one another, with the potential to dramatically increase connectivity across healthcare, including provider organizations, payers, government agencies, and more.

How can my organization get involved in Carequality?
Organizations interested in participating in Carequality have multiple options. Interested parties can formally join the initiative as a member, or they can participate as a supporter or a volunteer. Organizations that can provide connectivity into data from a number of different organizations and sources can consider becoming an Implementer of the Carequality Framework. Contact us at for more information and to discuss the best fit for your organization.

How does Carequality relate to the eHealth Exchange?
Carequality and the eHealth Exchange are both managed by The Sequoia Project, but the initiatives are separate and distinct, each with its own mission, charter and governance.

Simply put, the eHealth Exchange is a nationwide data sharing network. Carequality aims to connect the eHealth Exchange with all other data sharing networks throughout the country, forming a nationwide, interconnected web of networks.

Learn more about the differences between Carequality and eHealth Exchange

Does Carequality include a Record Locator Service (RLS)?
Carequality is a common framework for health data sharing between existing data networks. We are not and do not offer a record locator service. We know that each network has individual needs – some have no need for an RLS, some need an RLS partner, and still others are an RLS themselves. Unlike other interoperability initiatives that require all members to purchase the same RLS, our flexible framework allows each member the freedom to choose the right RLS for them, if necessary at all.

How do I learn more about Carequality or express my organization’s interest in participating?
If you’re ready to get engaged with Carequality email Still not sure? We’re always ready to answer your questions as well.

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