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Meaningful Health Care Informatics Blog

Mar 4 2013   10:30PM GMT

McKesson announcement: HIE alliance

Posted by: RedaChouffani
AllScripts, AthenaHealth, Cerner, EHR, Greenway, HIE, John Hammergren, jonathan bush, McKesson, RelayHealth

Today at  HIMSS 2013, an announcement made by John Hammergren, Chairman & CEO of McKesson, showed the willingness of some of the biggest players in EHRs to work toward increasing data fluidity and exchange among software vendors.

The announcement detailed a new organization called CommonWell Health Alliance that is a non-profit alliance of  health IT expertise from six vendors: AthenaHealth, Cerner, AllScripts, Greenway, RelayHealth and McKesson. Hints of an HIE deal between Cerner and McCesson were leaked weeks ago.

HIMSS 2013 hosted a round table that featured four of the top executives from members of the Alliance in an open discussion about the challenges the health care industry faces, as well as the motivation that encouraged the collaboration.

Collectively, these vendors represent 41% of the total market place of EHR systems in the US. However, not all of the large software vendors were present during the meeting. Don Fluckinger from our very own SearchHealthIT received a response to his question about EPIC and their lack of involvement in the panel, stating that many of the others were invited to the alliance.

This industry-led approach will focus on resolving the following issues:

  • Match patients. Provide a way for HIT suppliers to match patients with their health care records as they transition through care facilities in a seamless, industry-wide data environment.
  • Manage consent. Foster a HIPAA-compliant and patient-controlled means to simplify management of data sharing consents and authorizations.
  • Link records across care locations. Help providers link records to deliver a history of recent patient care encounters, and, with appropriate authorization, patient data across multiple providers and episodes of care.

As we continue to see vendors recognizing the importance of data exchange and addressing the challenges physicians face when attempting to connect systems, this initiative will significantly help to ensure that patients’ information can easily be exchanged.

“At the end of the day, healthcare is going to become personal,” Jonathan Bush said during the Q&A.

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