The CommonWell Health Alliance announced today that members will be giving patients access to their health data for the first time via the CommonWell network.
According to CommonWell officials, this access will be made possible by extending existing CommonWell services to enable a person to self-enroll in CommonWell, self-link their health records wherever they receive care, and self-query and view their health data available on the CommonWell network. Eight CommonWell members have already committed to deploying these services.
“Far too often individuals and the people who care for them are stymied by the onerous task of accessing their health data. CommonWell and its members are dedicated to helping break down the barriers that make it difficult for patients to access that information,” said Jitin Asnaani, executive director of CommonWell Health Alliance. “By enabling these services, our CommonWell members will empower people to be more engaged in managing their health and the health of their loved ones.”
Indeed, more than half (53 percent) of consumers said they couldn’t access all of their health data from a computer, according to HealthMine survey from last year of more than 500 U.S. consumers. The same survey found that 74 percent of respondents said easy electronic access to health data would improve their knowledge of their health and improve communication with their physicians.
Two CommonWell members, MediPortal and Integrated Data Services, have committed to launch these new services via their patient portal offerings by the end of the year. MediPortal, a patient engagement solutions company that focuses on meaningful data exchange, better workflow and medical information security, is planning to make its services available in the fourth quarter of 2016. Integrated Data Services, who is a provider of solutions that allow patients to retrieve and control their medical data or data of loved ones, as well as utilizes the interoperability of the Alliance to power its telemedicine service, plans to deploy their solutions in the beginning of fall 2016.
In addition, many Alliance members already deploying or soon-to-be deploying CommonWell services also have committed to embedding these patient access services into their patient portal offerings, including Aprima Medical Software, athenahealth, Cerner, Evident, Modernizing Medicine and RelayHealth, a division of McKesson, officials said.
Since its start at the 2013 Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Conference, CommonWell has continued to add new members. The Alliance’s goal is to promote healthcare interoperability, regardless of health IT vendor, geography or setting of care.
CommonWell 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’s officials.