CommonWell Health Alliance recently announced that members will be giving patients access to their health data for the first time via the CommonWell network. 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.
With the ability to self-enroll in CommonWell and self-link their health records, patients will be able to give their providers across the care continuum more secure, near instant access to their important health data, which could help improve care and coordination. In addition, the self-query and view capabilities will save patients time and hassle of having to track down their health information provider by provider.
According to a survey from HealthMine, 53% of patients surveyed can't access their data online. Yet, nearly 74% of health care consumers surveyed say easy electronic access to health data would improve their knowledge of their health and improve communication with their physicians.
"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," says 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."
The significance of patient involvement in health data has been highlighted by the White House and the Office for Civil Rights at Health and Human Services, with both releasing guidelines to ensure patients are part of the process. CommonWell services—self-enrollment, self-linking, and self-query and view—give individuals access to their health data for the first time via the CommonWell network.
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.
"In a world where the care delivery system is shifting to value-based care, patients are ever increasingly being asked to be discretionary consumers, and data access is the key to empowering the patient to become a savvy consumer," says Anand Prabhu, CEO of MediPortal. "CommonWell is the only multivendor network that not only enables interoperability but, most importantly, enables the data to truly follow the patient wherever he or she goes for care. We at MediPortal are thrilled to be one of the first companies to offer access to these services direct to the consumer."
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.
"Integrated Data Services is committed to helping people be active participants and advocates of their own health care," says Moti Mitteldorf, CTO of Integrated Data Services. "The extension of CommonWell services to consumers via integrated services like ours is a first-of-its-kind opportunity. True interoperability, as well as ease of use that our portals bring providers and patients, is a huge win for our end users, partners and providers as well as the health care industry as a whole."
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.
CommonWell has worked from the ground up to expand health data sharing across the spectrum of caregivers—care managers, doctors, nurses, and now the individual—because anyone who is involved in the care of a patient needs to access the data to help make better care decisions. Ultimately, CommonWell aims to continue deploying new interoperability services to improve patient access, enhance patient control, and forge the path to better care.
As of August 2016, more than 8,000 sites have committed to using CommonWell services, including more than 4,700 hospital, ambulatory, and postacute provider sites in all 50 states; Washington, D.C.; and Puerto Rico that are live on CommonWell services.
Source: National Association for Trusted Exchange