Last week, CommonWell Health Alliance held its Annual General Meeting and Fall Summit at MEDITECH’s Foxborough, MA campus. MEDITECH, which joined CommonWell in April of this year, was honored to host the Summit and especially excited to welcome all the member attendees to our new, state-of-the-art Joanne Wood Conference Center and Auditorium.

Fall Meeting_Lawrence OTooleAs a “newcomer,” it was evident to me right from the start that all CommonWell members, many of whom are direct competitors, checked their vendor agendas at the door. All participants were solely focused on directing their energy towards developing and executing strategies for supporting the Alliance’s mission to provide interoperability solutions at a reasonable cost to improve the quality and safety of patient care.

Jitin Asnaani, Executive Director of CommonWell, kicked us off by welcoming all new CommonWell Health Alliance members and introducing the chairs of the eight committees within the Alliance. Each committee chair provided an overview of goals and initiatives designed to support the overall mission of CommonWell. Beyond the formal committee meetings, several other discussions and breakout sessions tapped the combined expertise and passion of all the attendees. Some tangible results:

  • CommonWell has grown exponentially to 33 members, representing health IT vendors from across the continuum of care. Today, less than half of the members are traditional EHR vendors, and the Alliance is committed to continuing to grow its membership.
  • The primary focus of CommonWell and its members is to deploy, deploy, deploy! More than 5,000 provider sites are expected to be live by the end of this year, and we’re focused on driving mass rollout going forward.
  • Provider usability is crucial, and we are making strides to ensure the CommonWell services seamlessly weave into providers’ and administrators’ workflows.
  • CommonWell started using FHIR standards before it was “sexy” and the Alliance plays a huge role in the continued development and utilization of FHIR standards.
  • All CommonWell Health Alliance committees are working in concert with one another to support the mission, value and branding of the Alliance.

CommonWell is proud of its achievements since its formation two short years ago. That being said, the resounding theme throughout the Summit was that there is still much important work to be done. The plenary and breakout sessions were structured to give members with live providers the opportunity to share general lessons learned for deploying the service. This knowledge sharing is immensely important to the Alliance’s mission to grow, deploy and breakdown nation-wide data exchange barriers.

Overall, the three-day Summit was a tremendous success, and again, MEDITECH was honored to host. We thank everyone who traveled out to Massachusetts, and MEDITECH is humbled by the positive feedback we received on our new Conference Center. I am truly inspired by the progress CommonWell Health Alliance has made, and on behalf of MEDITECH, we look forward to continuing to work with the Alliance to make nationwide interoperability a reality.

Larry O’Toole is Associate Vice President, Strategy, at MEDITECH