CareCloud is proud to announce that it has become one of the newest members of CommonWell Health Alliance. Albert Santalo, CareCloud CEO and Founder, explains why this unprecedented level of vendor cooperation can benefit physicians, move the health IT industry forward and ultimately secure better outcomes for patients.

Q: Why did CareCloud join CommonWell Health Alliance?  

A: From day one, CareCloud has advocated for openness in healthcare generally and among its technology vendors specifically. We believe that data liquidity – centered on the needs of patients – is essential for improving care coordination and efficiency. Therefore, we were excited when CommonWell Health Alliance was founded and knew that it made sense for us to take part.

Q: How will CareCloud’s clients benefit?

A: Our participation in CommonWell means that CareCloud clients will eventually be able to locate patient medical records that reside at other practices and in different vendor systems. With the patient’s agreement, his or her medical provider will be able to access the other records and use them to inform care. In the past, a direct integration between systems would have been required.

It’s important to note that this ability is especially important among our larger clients. Large medical groups and enterprises tend to operate in a complex environment of owned and affiliated practices joined together in a variety of relationships. An increasing amount of these arrangements are based on delivery of quality, coordinated care – which requires arming providers with the richest information possible at the point of care.

Q: The benefits of interoperability among HIT vendors seem obvious, so why has achieving it been so difficult?

A: Despite calls for greater interoperability from industry leaders and the U.S. government, vendors traditionally just haven’t come together. This could partially explain why fewer than half of provider organizations said their EHR vendors “cooperate well with others” in a recent survey (KLAS data reported in Health IT News October 8, 2014).

CommonWell Health Alliance is changing all of that. As a non-profit trade group, it promotes a vendor-neutral platform to foster effective and secure exchange of health data across the industry.

Q: What impact do you predict CommonWell will have over the next few years?

A: We see the Alliance continuing to expand and adding more members from different corners of the healthcare industry. By leveraging our collective experience across the care continuum, we will break down the barriers that have stood in the way of efficient data exchange. Our combined success will convince others to seek membership as well.

Most importantly, we see CommonWell resetting patient expectations and moving the needle on the quality and cohesion of care they receive.