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CommonWell to Expand Services as Members Commit to Build APIs

February 15, 2017
by Rajiv Leventhal
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The CommonWell Health Alliance has announced that 14 of its members have committed to building new application programming interfaces (APIs) that will complement existing services that the Alliance already offers.

CommonWell officials said in a press release that this should increase the value of the CommonWell network to individuals and caregivers. The existing CommonWell services, which include person enrollment, record location, patient identification and linking, and data query and retrieval, are all live nationwide.

The new APIs are anticipated to be utilized for a variety of needs across the health and care ecosystem, such as for individuals seeking coverage for disability insurance, for organizations investing in more effective care coordination, or for communities seeking to drive public health programs, officials stated.

Since its start at the 2013 Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Conference, CommonWell has continued to add new members. The Alliance is a trade association of health IT companies working together with the aim to create universal access to health data nationwide. CommonWell now has nearly 9,800 provider sites already committed to using CommonWell core services, including more than 5,000 sites currently live. Its members represent two-thirds of the acute care electronic health record (EHR) market and more than one-third of the ambulatory care EHR market, according to the organization.

One example of the new service offerings is in the form of members committing to develop a notifications API that would enable end-users to be notified when a patient’s data is available on the CommonWell network, enabling a host of valuable use cases serving such diverse needs from post-acute care coordination to care management to public health. Eight members have committed to building out and utilizing such service, including athenahealth, Audacious Inquiry, CareMerge, Cerner, Health Gorilla, OmniSYS, PatientPing and Philips Wellcentive, according to the organization.

“Although there is still much to be done before achieving the ‘ubiquitous interoperability’ CommonWell members seek, the collective pursuit of that mission by our members has created a unique culture of collaboration. That culture is both driving unrelenting execution and yielding innovations that are taking interoperability well beyond basic connectivity,” Jitin Asnaani, executive director of CommonWell Health Alliance, said in a statement. “Simply put, our members want to do more and know that they can do it here, so we’ve secured the processes, guidelines and commitments to jumpstart their progress.”

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