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GRAChIE Using eHealth Exchange To Mobilize Connection Points for Hurricane Florence Evacuees

eHealth Exchange Network Model Ensures Secure, Interoperable Health Information Exchange

(Vienna, VA – September 14, 2018) –  As the nation braces for the force of Hurricane Florence, the Georgia Regional Academic Community Health Information Exchange (GRAChIE) is working to connect to eHealth Exchange participants in South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia and Florida in preparation for displaced evacuees.

Major disasters such as Hurricane Florence have an effect on healthcare information needs – even before they make landfall. Hurricane Florence has already resulted in the evacuation of millions who have left the places where they normally receive care and where their healthcare records are housed.

GRAChIE has been working diligently expand its connectivity to health information exchanges (HIEs) throughout the Southeast via the eHealth Exchange as quickly as possible before Hurricane Florence hits the coast.

“We are making great strides for building bridges and exchange throughout the southeast as the storm approaches,” said Tara Cramer, CEO of GRAChIE.  “We are currently taking connections live with the approach we used last year during Hurricane Irma with great success.”

“The eHealth Exchange network provides a nationwide backbone for health information sharing that enables network participants to share information in the normal course of care and to quickly expand those connections when emergencies arise, “said Jay Nakashima, Vice President of eHealth Exchange. “This ensures a state of readiness. In disaster situations such as Hurricane Florence, physicians must have instant access to electronic patient histories to provide safe and effective care.”

Patient Unified Lookup System for Emergencies (PULSE)

When disaster strikes, and families are relocated to shelters in their community or even further afield, prescription refills and other healthcare needs become more challenging. The Sequoia Project, building upon the work incubated by HHS, is spearheading a nationwide deployment plan for the health IT disaster response platform known as the Patient Unified Lookup System for Emergencies (PULSE). The PULSE system enables authorized disaster healthcare volunteers treating patients in field hospitals, outside the normal care setting to access patient records when they have been injured or displaced by disasters and other emergencies.

“Disasters and other events are unpredictable and disruptive and place unique demands on public health, private sector healthcare, first responders and other key resources,” said Mariann Yeager, CEO of The Sequoia Project. “People need seamless healthcare, whether for emergency care or just uninterrupted prescription access, when they are displaced by a disaster.”

The PULSE platform was activated in California for the 2017 and 2018 wildfires, and many area health systems and providers rallied behind the effort. This experience will guide further efforts to deploy PULSE in other states and regions by informing governance, activities and policies on a national-level platform to enable sharing among disaster healthcare volunteers and community providers.

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About eHealth Exchange

The eHealth Exchange is a rapidly growing health data sharing network for securely sharing clinical information over the Internet nationwide. The eHealth Exchange spans all 50 states and is the largest clinical health data sharing network in the United States. Current eHealth Exchange participants include large provider networks, hospitals, pharmacies, regional health information exchanges and many federal agencies, representing more than 75% of all U.S. hospitals, 70,000 medical groups, more than 8,300 pharmacies and 120 million patients where over 200 million clinical documents are exchanged annually. For more information about the eHealth Exchange, visit www.ehealthexchange.com. Follow the eHealth Exchange on Twitter: @eHealthExchange.

About GRAChIE

The Georgia Regional Academic Community Health Information Exchange (GRAChIE) serves healthcare organizations and providers across Georgia seamlessly bringing health information from one healthcare professional to another. GRAChIE provides health information in a secure, electronic format allowing healthcare professionals to appropriately access and securely share a patient’s health information electronically through EHR system. https://grachie.org/

About The Sequoia Project

The Sequoia Project is a non-profit, 501c3, public-private collaborative chartered to advance implementation of secure, interoperable nationwide health information exchange. The Sequoia Project supports multiple, independent health IT interoperability initiatives, most notably: the eHealth Exchange, a rapidly growing national-level health information network; and Carequality, which is a national-level, consensus-built, common interoperability framework to interconnect and enable exchange between and among existing health information networks, much like the telecommunications industry did for linking cell phone networks. For more information about The Sequoia Project and its initiatives, visit www.sequoiaproject.org. Follow The Sequoia Project on Twitter: @SequoiaProject.

September 14, 2018 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 5 blogs containing over 11,000 articles with John having written over 5500 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 18 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

eHealth Exchange to Become Carequality Implementer

Parent Organization, The Sequoia Project, to Update Corporate Structure
While Remaining 501(c)3 Non-Profit

(Vienna, VA – May 10, 2018) – The Sequoia Project, a non-profit dedicated to solving health IT interoperability for the public good, announced today its intentions to update its corporate structure this summer. The new corporate structure will reflect the continued maturation of the organization and the significantly larger role that The Sequoia Project plays as the central convener for interoperability. The updated corporate structure will result in The Sequoia Project having two distinct subsidiaries; one for eHealth Exchange and one for Carequality.

The eHealth Exchange is one of the oldest and largest health information networks in the U.S., and Carequality is an interoperability framework that makes it possible for different health information networks to share records with each other electronically. The new corporate structure will assure that each of these vital initiatives has the governance and management resources that they require to continue flourishing.

The eHealth Exchange plans to become a member and implementer of Carequality later this year, thereby extending the eHealth Exchange’s reach to all other networks that also participate in Carequality. Jay Nakashima, the new vice president of the eHealth Exchange, will spearhead the network’s application to join Carequality and set the strategic direction for the network.

“For the last nine years, the eHealth Exchange has been the principal way the public and private sector share health information,” said Nakashima. “I’m honored to take the helm at this critical stage of the network’s evolution as we develop new services and features, beginning with operating as a separate legal entity and becoming a Carequality implementer.”

The eHealth Exchange network, which is working in 75 percent of all US hospitals, is leveraged by more than 15 electronic health record (EHR) technologies and 59 regional or state health information exchanges (HIEs). Four federal agencies (Centers for Medicaid and Medicare, Department of Defense, Department of Veteran Affairs, and Social Security Administration) participate in the network to share patient information with private sector partners as well as other agencies. In all, the eHealth Exchange supports secure exchange of the records of more than 120 million patients.

“Carequality’s success as the leading national-level trusted exchange framework is predicated on our commitment to fairness and transparency,” said Dave Cassel, vice president of Carequality. “By reorganizing the eHealth Exchange and Carequality into separate legal entities, we further ensure unbiased, equitable treatment for the eHealth Exchange alongside every other implementer subject to Carequality oversight.”

So far, the Carequality framework has enabled more than 600,000 physicians to share health data across networks. Once the eHealth Exchange completes the Carequality application process, each eHealth Exchange network participant will have the option to add Carequality connectivity to bi-directionally share patient data with other Carequality-connected providers.

“The coming updates were driven by the significant growth and progress of the eHealth Exchange and Carequality,” explained Mariann Yeager, CEO of The Sequoia Project. “We can expect to keep the operational efficiencies, while expanding Sequoia’s focus on incubating new interoperability opportunities and overcoming impediments to health information exchange.”

Following the reorganization, The Sequoia Project will continue to bring together industry and government to transparently and inclusively develop solutions to the most pressing challenges of health data exchange. Thought leadership will be transformed into leadership action on topics like FHIR®, patient matching, and supporting disaster response efforts such as the Patient Unified Lookup System for Emergencies (PULSE).

The Sequoia Project will share additional updates later this summer as changes progress.

About The Sequoia Project

The Sequoia Project is a non-profit, 501c3, public-private collaborative chartered to advance implementation of secure, interoperable nationwide health information exchange. The Sequoia Project supports multiple, independent health IT interoperability initiatives, most notably: the eHealth Exchange, a rapidly growing national-level health information network; and Carequality, which is a national-level, consensus-built, common interoperability framework to interconnect and enable exchange between and among existing health information networks, much like the telecommunications industry did for linking cell phone networks. For more information about The Sequoia Project and its initiatives, visit www.sequoiaproject.org. Follow The Sequoia Project on Twitter: @SequoiaProject.

May 11, 2018 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 5 blogs containing over 11,000 articles with John having written over 5500 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 18 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.