CCC adds sixth member for HIE innovation

'This collaboration strengthens our resources and expands our capability for health information exchange.'

The Care Connectivity Consortium, which links five powerhouse providers in a nationwide data exchange collaborative, added a sixth member earlier this week.

Founded three years ago by Geisinger Health System, Group Health Cooperative, Intermountain Healthcare, Kaiser Permanente and Mayo Clinic, the CCC announced thia week at HIMSS14 the addition of OCHIN, one of biggest multi-state health information networks in the U.S.

Since CCC's mission is making health information exchange technologies more versatile and valuable for patients and provider's, the move makes perfect sense, say its members.

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"OCHIN's values are in alignment with the CCC's mission to promote and develop innovative, efficient, effective and accessible HIE capabilities to support care providers and patients with easy, fast access to medical records at the point of care," said Stan Huff, MD, chief medical informatics officer, Intermountain Healthcare, in a press statement. "This collaboration strengthens our resources and expands our capability for health information exchange."

About a year ago, CCC joined in collaboration with Healtheway, the non-profit organization set up to support the nationwide eHealth Exchange.

OCHIN, already a Healtheway member, will bring technical and operational experience to the CCC in support of its role as an innovation arm to Healtheway, officials say.

"At OCHIN we strongly believe that joining with the CCC better equips us all to push existing boundaries and achieve better health outcomes by getting patient health data to the right place at the right time," said Abby Sears, OCHIN's president and CEO, in a statement. "We are looking forward to making this happen nationally by working in partnership with each member of the consortium."

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"As we've seen with the success of our collaboration with Healtheway, partnership is key to solving the problems of national HIE to improve care for everyone in the United States," added Jamie Ferguson, vice president, health IT strategy and policy Kaiser Permanente. "Having OCHIN join the CCC is another step in the right direction to provide access to the right information, for the right patient, at the right time."

The CCC is working toward HIE innovations through its Learning Lab – where observations about exchange can offer raw data to refine and improve the effectiveness of the HIE processes. The Learning Lab has helped CCC and Healtheway make progress, for example, on patient identity matching and authorization management, two of the biggest hurdles to seamless HIE.