CommonWell: Healthcare Interoperability Or Bust

Mark Braunstein | Information Week | January 8, 2015

Peter Bernhardt of CommonWell Health Alliance, a group of clinical and health IT organizations, talks about its goal of better data exchange and application integration.
The surprise announcement at HIMSS 2013 was the CommonWell Health Alliance, a group of healthcare organizations seeking to define and promote a national infrastructure with common standards and policies. The coalition's aim is to build interoperability into its software so that providers can work seamlessly within their existing workflow.

CommonWell consists of 14 members, including the 7 founding members. Membership represents acute and ambulatory care EHR suppliers, as well as laboratory, retail pharmacy, perinatal care, and long-term-care health IT systems. The service initially was launched at more than 12 provider sites in four locations: Chicago, Ill.; Elkin and Henderson, N.C.; and Columbia, S.C.

In November, CommonWell announced the transition from initial launch to nationwide expansion of its services. At the time of the announcement, Athenahealth, Cerner, CPSI, Greenway Health, and McKesson had signed member service agreements with CommonWell in order to offer its services to their clients nationwide. RelayHealth, the service provider and technology foundation that CommonWell uses to provide its services, is a subsidiary of McKesson Technology Solutions...