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CommonWell Becomes First National Network to Use the Argonaut Project’s FHIR Specifications

CommonWell Health Alliance® today announced it has completed building the first set of The Argonaut Project’s FHIR specifications into its core services—making it the first national network to enable comprehensive FHIR-based-exchange at scale. CommonWell, recognizing its critical role in improving nationwide health data exchange, has been using FHIR since 2013 when it first developed its core interoperability services and person-centric national network.

By building the latest set of FHIR specifications, all CommonWell Members will be able to leverage FHIR-based outbound query and retrieve capabilities to access data across the network. Brightree will be the first to deploy this capability to clients across the country this year and has already built FHIR-based workflows into their technology.

By implementing the latest FHIR specifications, CommonWell and its members have made it simpler and faster for technology innovators to exchange health data. The latest specifications rely on more modern architecture which makes it easier for developers—both inside and outside the EHR industry—to connect to the information they are trying to access. Additionally, it creates the stepping stones for more widespread sharing of discrete segments of data, as opposed to the comprehensive summary of care documents that are shared today.

CommonWell is implementing the Find Document References and Retrieve Document resources and corresponding OAuth2 security specifications for Document Responders, as profiled by the Argonaut Project in a release issued yesterday. CommonWell will also utilize Argonaut specifications for provider directories in order to enhance the network with directed query capabilities. CommonWell is bridging these specifications to the existing IHE XCA specifications that many major EHR vendors have already built in the past. This allows CommonWell Members to use either the more modern FHIR-based or the older XCA-based specifications. This bridging highlights the unique ability of CommonWell services to consolidate and deliver queries from multiple EHRs to a single endpoint.

“CommonWell has been using FHIR for patient identity management purposes since it first built its core interoperability services, even before the launch of the Argonaut Project,” said Jitin Asnaani, executive director of CommonWell Health Alliance. “By leveraging these latest FHIR specifications, CommonWell is taking the first of many steps to leverage FHIR for clinical interoperability, and plans to support additional FHIR specifications later this year.”

Brightree, the first solely post-acute focused member of CommonWell, has enabled FHIR-based exchange per the specifications of the Argonaut Project to query and retrieve clinical documents through Alliance services to enable better patient care in the post-acute market.

“Our initial reason for joining CommonWell was to gain access to a national network that could solve for interoperability issues inhibiting the providers we serve. By combining our cloud-based architecture with FHIR-based exchange, we will be able to more efficiently leverage the CommonWell network and provide even more value for our providers and the patients they serve,” said Matt Mellott, chief executive officer of Brightree.

The Alliance officially became a member of Health Level Seven International (HL7)—an industry driver of FHIR—earlier this year. This further symbolizes the Alliance’s commitment to work collaboratively across the health IT landscape and to leverage existing standards where possible.

To see CommonWell FHIR-based exchange in action, visit Brightree as they give live demonstrations of their Home Health Solutions, alongside Cerner, at the CommonWell Care Transition area of the HIMSS Interoperability Showcase (Booth #9000) during the exhibition hall hours Monday, Feb. 20-Wednesday, Feb. 22.

About CommonWell Health Alliance

CommonWell Health Alliance is a not-for-profit trade association of health IT companies working together to create universal access to health data nationwide. CommonWell members represent two-thirds of the acute care EHR market1 and more than one-third of the ambulatory care EHR market2, as well as market leaders and technology innovators supporting care settings such as post-acute care, imaging, perinatal, laboratory, retail pharmacy, oncology, population health, emergency services and more. CommonWell and its members are committed to the belief that provider access to health data must be built into information technologies at a reasonable cost for use by a broad range of health care providers and the populations and people they serve.

To learn more about CommonWell Health Alliance, visit www.commonwellalliance.org. Engage with CommonWell on our Blog, as well as through Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter using the handle, @CommonWell. CommonWell Health Alliance® and the CommonWell Logo are registered trademarks of CommonWell Health Alliance Inc.

About Brightree

Brightree is the leading provider of cloud-based software to improve clinical and business performance in the post-acute care industry. The company serves more than 2,500 organizations in the HME, home health, hospice, orthotic and prosthetic, HME pharmacy, home infusion and rehabilitation home care segments. Brightree's solutions follow the natural workflow of providers to automate and improve how they manage their businesses, serve patients and protect reimbursements. The company is ranked one of the top 100 healthcare IT companies in the U.S. on the prestigious Healthcare Informatics 100 (HCI 100) list. For more information, visit www.brightree.com or call 1.888.598.7797.

1 KLAS - 2016 Hospital EMR Market Share, May 2016. © 2016 KLAS Enterprises, LLC. All rights reserved. www.KLASresearch.com

2 SK&A, a Cegedim Company - “Physician Office Usage of EHR Software” SK&A. February 2016.

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