Interoperability framework organization Carequality has announced an expansion to enable participation of federal government agencies. The nonprofit organization called this an important milestone to expanding exchange between private-sector organizations and government agencies.
The eHealth Exchange, the principal way federal agencies exchange health information electronically, joined Carequality in 2021, and immediately its private-sector participants could use the network to share data with other networks leveraging Carequality. The federal agencies, on the other hand, had specific policy language they needed included in Carequality agreements before they could participate through eHealth Exchange. The policy changes now have been made, and the federal agencies will now be able to opt into eHealth Exchange’s Carequality Bridge.
“The Carequality Interoperability Framework is a living, evolving framework for health information exchange across networks, technologies, geographies, and now private sector-government boundaries. The more we can accommodate each and every type of organization and care setting that need access to electronic health information, the closer we get to the vision of true nationwide health data sharing. Federal agencies are a critical part of ensuring this vision,” said Alan Swenson, executive director of Carequality, in a statement.
The policy change was incorporated in the development and release of an updated Carequality Connected Agreement effective Aug. 1, 2022.
“The eHealth Exchange seeks to support health information exchange as a public good infrastructure,” said Jay Nakashima, executive director of the eHealth Exchange, in a statement. “The more ways we enable exchange of patient data when, where, and how it is needed – the better. We already support more than 1 billion transactions monthly, but we’ll always choose to expand that connectivity further to the benefit of our members and the healthcare providers and patients they serve – whether through Carequality, TEFCA, or whatever tomorrow brings. The eHealth Exchange and its members are excited about the new frontiers the industry is moving into.”
The eHealth Exchange is applying to be among the nation’s first TEFCA Designated Qualified Health Information Networks (QHINs). “The eHealth Exchange is a proven health information network with vast experience at a national scale,” said Nakashima in a June 2022 statement. “We anticipate a seamless addition of TEFCA to the exchange for network members that choose to opt-in when it becomes available.”