Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price spoke yesterday at Health Datapalooza 2017, touting the promise of health IT and his belief in the innovations of the private sector to increase health interoperability and improve usability for patients and physicians. Price added that HHS would be engaging and “encouraging health interoperability from the 60,000 foot level.”
Carequality, and its parent non-profit The Sequoia Project, are excited to hear Price mention that true interoperability has always been the goal, although the path to achieving it hasn’t always been a smooth and steady ride. No organization knows this better than us. This month, The Sequoia Project celebrated its five-year anniversary and during this timeframe, we have witnessed significant growth across the health IT industry in moving toward health data sharing. Although we have not arrived at our final destination, we are certainly well into the journey and miles from where we started.
Here is a sampling of what The Sequoia Project and its initiatives, Carequality, eHealth Exchange and RSNA Image Share Validation have accomplished:
- More than 19,000 clinics, 800 hospitals, and 250,000 providers now implement the Carequality Interoperability Framework, a drastic increase from one year ago when the framework was first published and 10 pioneering organizations signed up to implement.
- The eHealth Exchange is now the largest health data sharing network of its kind in the United States, connecting participants in all 50 states, including four federal agencies, 65 percent of all U.S. hospitals, 46 regional and state HIEs, 50,000 medical groups, and more than 3,400 dialysis centers and 8,300 pharmacies. Combined, the eHealth Exchange supports more than 109 million patients across private, military, veteran, and public care settings.
- This winter, seven companies received RSNA Image Share Validation, which uses rigorous technical testing to ensure accurate and efficient exchange of medical images. Other companies are in the process of getting validated as the program transitions from pilot to production mode.
The unprecedented growth of Carequailty, and Sequoia’s other initiatives, illustrates the promise of health IT and innovation. To the points that Secretary Price made yesterday at Health Datapalooza, interoperability improves health outcomes. This is a win-win for everyone.