Carequality Blog

Interoperability Framework Adapts to Pandemic Response and Future Needs

(Vienna, VA – May 18, 2020) – Carequality, the national-level, common interoperability framework to enable health information exchange between and among health information networks, announced one billion total clinical documents exchanged since the first document exchange in July 2016. Carequality continues to support the exchange of over 90 million documents every month. In addition to hitting this milestone, Carequality now empowers more than 50,000 clinics and over 2,800 hospitals to share patient data across the country through its implementer community. These new numbers speak to the potential benefits Carequality’s scale can provide to communities, especially important in today’s world of COVID-19.

“One billion documents exchanged is an exciting milestone for Carequality,” said Dave Cassel, executive director of Carequality. “We continue to work with our implementers and their healthcare communities, who have a big role in our growth, to continue to improve access and interoperability. At the same time that we pause to note this major milestone, it’s important to remember that each of these documents represents an opportunity to improve a patient’s experience and clinical outcome. It’s humbling to consider the potential represented by this volume of interoperable exchange, and the benefit that providers, and ultimately patients, can receive from it.”

Carequality is adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic, recognizing the enormous volume of information held by its community members that providers and public health agencies need to be able to access patient medical records. In March, Carequality released a policy providing a temporary waiver for its normal bidirectional exchange requirements in order to allow the widest possible access to information for all clinicians. Most recently, Carequality released another policy regarding barriers to participation in Carequality that public health agencies may face. There are many challenges public health organizations have to navigate during COVID-19. In this policy, Carequality recognizes two notable barriers regarding query responses and patient privacy, and provides policy solutions to help implementers deal with these challenges.

Carequality has also started on plans to further expand document exchange and accessibility. Among other new capabilities, such as support for FHIR-based health information exchange and a subscription-based notifications ecosystem, Carequality plans to build on its success by expanding health information exchange to include imaging data. In December 2019, Carequality released a proposed Carequality Image Exchange Implementation Guide Supplement developed with the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA). With leadership and support from pioneering early adopters Ambra Health, LifeImage and Philips, Carequality is committed to making imaging data more accessible to patients and their providers in 2020.

Carequality is driven by its inclusive, industry-driven community. There are many opportunities for members and non-members to participate and provide critical feedback. If you are interested in getting involved with current and future Carequality projects, visit the site at https://carequality.org/get-involved/ or send an email to admin@carequality.org.

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Media Contact:
Dawn Van Dyke
Phone: (571) 346-2439
Email: dvandyke@carequality.org

About Carequality
Carequality is a national-level, consensus-built, interoperability framework to enable exchange between and among health information networks. Carequality brings together diverse groups, including electronic health record vendors, record locator service providers and other types of existing networks, to determine technical and policy agreements to enable data to flow between and among networks, platforms and geographies.

The Carequality Framework provides the essential elements for trusted national exchange, such as common rules of the road (including a Trusted Exchange Framework), well-defined technical specifications and a participant directory.