How Carequality interoperability framework boosts pop health, SDOH

Organization’s chief discusses these issues in advance of a free informational teleconference September 26 as part of National Health IT Week.
By Bill Siwicki
01:33 PM
How Carequality interoperability framework boosts pop health, SDOH

Carequality will hold a free informational teleconference this Thursday as part of U.S. National Health IT Week, during which Carequality Executive Director Dave Cassel will discuss the latest news about its growing trusted exchange framework for interoperability.

Transparency and participation opportunities

The call, which is scheduled from 1-2 p.m. ET on Sept. 26, is "part of our general efforts in being transparent and involving the community in our work," Cassel explained. "Periodically, usually each month, we have a session that’s targeted at a very wide audience, to provide updates on our work and to highlight participation opportunities."

For National Health IT Week, Carequality is expanding on the usual format to provide some additional education on Carequality and its mission, since some attendees might be new to the organization. Carequality also will provide a bit more context than it might otherwise, for each of the individual topics, which will include updates on activities around FHIR-based exchange.

"Information exchange via the Carequality Interoperability Framework in production is generally in the form of clinical documents. We’re working with our community to expand the content included in these documents, including SDOH."

Dave Cassel, Carequality

“One other item to highlight in particular is the opportunity to apply for a two-year term on our advisory council,” Cassel said. “I’ll provide more details on the call, and those who can’t make the session but are still interested in learning more can do so on our website.”

Advancing population health

Carequality is using its interoperability framework to do what it can to advance population health in the U.S. healthcare industry.

"Caring for a population of patients requires proactivity," Cassel stated. "You can’t just wait for patients to present for care, but rather need to understand which patients need priority follow-up and intervention. This proactivity is only possible with access to data, and the more complete your data set, the better your chances for efficient and effective action."

Carequality facilitates access to information across disparate and historically unconnected systems, he added. It provides the legal and operational elements for provider organizations, and other relevant players, to sign one set of terms, complete one technical implementation, and then connect universally with a wide ecosystem of others who have done the same, he explained.

"We estimate that more than half of all U.S. physicians, across tens of thousands of clinics and hospitals, are already Carequality-connected, with ongoing rollouts to others on a daily basis," he said.

Connecting the systems doctors use is the first step. The next frontier, Cassel said, is continuing to expand and improve on the information that is available for exchange.

"We’re actively working on a number of parallel threads to ensure that more, and more useful, information is available to our community members," he said.

Social determinants of health

On another front are social determinants of health, which Carequality can boost like population health.

"I mentioned the efforts we’re making to expand and improve on available information, and social determinants of health are part of those efforts," Cassel said. "Today, information exchange via the Carequality Interoperability Framework in production is generally in the form of clinical documents. We’re working with our community to expand the content included in these documents, including SDOH."

In parallel, Carequality also is working to expand coverage of its operational framework to include HL7 FHIR APIs.

"SDOH are one of the use-cases that we envision in this area, and we’re taking it into account as we develop the underlying support structure for FHIR-based exchange via the Carequality Interoperability Framework," Cassel concluded.

Twitter: @SiwickiHealthIT
Email the writer: bill.siwicki@himssmedia.com
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