EHR 'Pioneers' Launch National Health Data Exchange Project

On Wednesday, five medical groups that are considered "pioneers" in electronic health record use announced the launch of the Care Connectivity Consortium, a project to create a health information exchange network that will span several states and include millions of patients, the New York Times' "Bits" reports.

The groups launching the consortium are:

  • Geisinger Health System;
  • Group Health Cooperative;
  • Intermountain Healthcare;
  • Kaiser Permanente; and
  • Mayo Clinic.

Details, Goals of Consortium

The leaders of the organizations have worked for the past six months to develop the consortium, which aims to efficiently collect and use EHRs to help physicians make more cost-effective diagnoses and share data (Lohr, "Bits," New York Times, 4/6).

One of the consortium's key goals is to demonstrate that secure, standards-based health data exchange among disparate health care providers is possible (Healthcare IT News, 4/6).

In addition, the consortium aims to show that increased access to medical data leads to more effective and safer care.

Kaiser Permanente CEO George Halvorson said the project is "totally focused on care," and "the challenge is to connect with other systems" to expand on many of the regional and local health information exchanges that already share data ("Bits," New York Times, 4/6).

Group Health Cooperative CEO Scott Armstrong added, "Our hope is that this partnership will grow and help accelerate the implementation of a national health information exchange, leading to better care for everyone" (Barr, Modern Healthcare, 4/6).

According to Halvorson, a benefit of the consortium for patients could be referrals between systems.

Looking Ahead

The groups expect some data sharing to begin this year ("Bits," New York Times, 4/6).

Over the next year, the consortium plans to roll out interoperability tools based on national standards (Healthcare IT News, 4/6).

Robert Finney
Original, documented investigations on Kaiser Permanente EHR, "HMO Rigs Electronic Medical Records," are posted at and Robert D. Finney, Ph.D.
Kel Mohror
No mention of championing a or interoperability with PHR? A greater emphasis on improving wellness behaviors would reduce the number of people requiring intense interventions (medical, surgical, pharmaceutical). This would be more than counter-balanced by an increased number of patient visits for preventive and health maintenance advices and therapies. The Care Connectivity Consortium could make tremendous strides to guide health reform and reduce litigation by recommending interoperable PHR(s) that ensure patients are fully informed about their medical status. If the CCC is slow to make such a recommendation, health consumers will take the initiative to adopt a range of PHRs, further "muddying the HIT waters."

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