HIMSS releases free interoperability environmental scan

Hospitals can use the tool to assess connectivity options such as Epic’s Care Everywhere, Carequality, CommonWell, the Sequoia Project, others.
By Tom Sullivan
08:43 AM
HIMSS releases free interoperability environmental scan

HIMSS released its Environmental Scan of Interoperability Initiatives to collect in one place the health information exchange options that currently exist for hospitals.  

The free tool comes as health IT shops grapple with more than a dozen EHRs running in-house, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health has retooled its efforts to focus on enabling interoperability and health information exchange, and more and more hospitals are turning to Carequality, CommonWell and others to share patient data outside their four walls.

[Also: Why EHR data interoperability is such a mess in 3 charts]

“We now have a better understanding of who exists, how they differ, how they’re similar and how they’re collaborating,” said Katie Crenshaw, Manager of Informatics at HIMSS. “The whole point is to make it easier for hospitals to gather information people keep hearing about.” 

Participating organizations include Epic Care Everywhere, Carequality, CommonWell Health Alliance, DirectTrust, Sequoia Project’s eHealth Exchange,  Surescripts, Community HIE, National Association for Trusted Exchange, CARIN Alliance, and SHIEC, which stands for Strategic Health Information Exchange Collaborative.

“They’re not approaching it in the same way. Some are providing networks, others are creating a governance structure with policies that need to be in place for interoperability to occur,” Crenshaw said. “There’s a lot of collaboration across them as well — the direct result for users is they don’t have to be members of each of these.”

The interoperability environmental scan is open to the public and includes 20 categories for each entry, such as certification requirements, costs, which standards the entity leverages, its mission, future plans, partners, and directory details, among others.

“It’s open for comment and continuous feedback,” Crenshaw said. “Now we want to make sure it stays up to date.”

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Email the writer: tom.sullivan@himssmedia.com