Greenway touts interoperability first

'It’s necessary, and it’s possible'
By Bernie Monegain
10:14 AM
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Hands together

EHR vendor Greenway Health is hailing what it calls a milestone in the world of healthcare interoperability.

The company's executives call the achievement the nation's first and most comprehensive bi-directional data exchange project, utilizing the national eHealth Exchange to connect ambulatory clinic, hospital, health plan, outpatient surgery and multi-specialty integrated delivery settings.

The connection is serving patients in the Portland, Ore. area.

Greenway Health collaborated on the initiative with its customer Premise Health and several ambulatory and acute-care providers that use information solutions from both Greenway and Epic Systems.

The project's success has led to a similar connected care projects by Premise Health and Intel that are beginning in the Phoenix metropolitan area to connect clinics, hospitals and health systems that serve the large regional population.

Premise Health manages Intel's employee campus Health for Life Centers, an integral part of Intel's Connected Care network. Greenway and Premise Health collaborated to onboard the Portland-area centers onto the eHealth Exchange to establish connectivity with eHealth Exchange network members and Epic customers Providence Health & Services, Kaiser Permanente Northwest and The Portland Clinics.

[See also: Interoperability: Just ahead or still far off?]

The connectivity serves nearly 17,000 Intel employees and their families, delivering scalable, real-time query and retrieve data exchange at the point of care across the organizations. Greenway executives say patient data is securely and seamlessly shared to support everything from initial visits to referrals, emergencies, hospitalizations, discharge care and health plan reconciliation.

In the first six months since go-live, more than 26,000 data sets of patient information has been exchanged between the participating organizations' area providers using the standards-based Consolidated-Clinical Document Architecture, known as C-CDA.

"Working together, we can drive the vision of system-wide improvements in health outcomes, improve the patient experience and reduce the costs of providing care by promoting collaboration across the medical neighborhood," said Premise Health Vice President of Application and Delivery Will Rice, in a news release announcing the collaboration  "Patients increasingly expect convenience and a seamless experience across their providers. Through our use of Greenway solutions and the eHealth Exchange, information can now seamlessly follow Intel's Oregon employees to all settings of care."

[See also: Interoperability done in 10 years?]

Power of standards
The project has leveraged Greenway Prime Suite, the company's electronic health record-based solution used by Premise Health; Greenway Exchange, Greenway Health's cloud-based interoperability engine; and the eHealth Exchange, the nation's largest public-private health data exchange, an initiative of The Sequoia Project.

Last year, Greenway Health became the first ambulatory services provider to have a solution recognized as "eHealth Exchange Validated," which means it met the criteria of the eHealth Exchange Product Testing Program, Greenway executives note. Validated systems conform to rigorous performance specifications and underlying standards, and are designed to interoperate with other systems without error or further customization, Greenway execs point out. Systems designated as eHealth Exchange Validated reduce effort and cost for their clients to onboard with the eHealth Exchange, making it even easier to join the broad interoperable health information exchange that already covers more than 100 million patients for improved clinical decision-making, care coordination, patient safety and process improvement, they say.

"Standards-based data liquidity that improves care delivery is both the goal and the promise of healthcare information technology, and is fundamental to Greenway's commitment to positively impact the health of our nation," said Greenway Health CEO Tee Green, in a statement. "We're proud to work with these partners in progress to unlock data and expand the opportunities with the eHealth Exchange. Through this and other initiatives, we will continue to expand the scope and impact of interoperability innovations across this country. It's necessary, and it's possible."

Michael Matthews, CEO of MedVirginia and an eHealth Exchange Coordinating Committee member, added: "This first-of-its-kind connectivity within the eHealth Exchange is a testament to the technical proficiency and the collaborative nature of the marketplace. This is what the eHealth Exchange was envisioned to be – a means to advance interoperability within communities of care and to the level that all healthcare stakeholders are seeking."

White paper and case study
The project is the subject of a white paper produced by Intel titled "Advancing Interoperability for Healthcare: Employer-Led, Standards-Based Collaboration to Support the Triple Aim." Greenway Health and eHealth Exchange also have produced a shorter case study, "Multi-Setting Care Coordination through the eHealth Exchange," both available for download at no charge.