Since Hurricane Maria tore through Puerto Rico over a year ago, the island has been rebuilding its healthcare infrastructure from the ground up. Federally qualified not-for-profit centers (FQHCs), such as the Puerto Rico Primary Care Association Network (PRPCAN), have played a central role in this process. In 2016, PRPCAN was established to accelerate the adoption of health information technology on the island to improve access to care and reduce costs.

Many Puerto Rican healthcare facilities are still not fully operational due physician emigration to the US and physical damages from the hurricane. As a result, patients have struggled to maintain continuity throughout their care journey, and providers are too overwhelmed to comprehensively manage new cases. Clinical interoperability was widely recognized as a fundamental need for rebuilding and scaling an advanced healthcare infrastructure.

In 2018, PRPCAN initiated a partnership with Health Gorilla to build an interoperable network across 20 FQHCs and more than 90 clinics in Puerto Rico. This involved bringing together a wide array of disparate data sources across many different vendors to support clinical decision making.

In parallel, Health Gorilla joined the CommonWell Health Alliance in 2016, recognizing the shared vision our organizations had to improve patient and provider access to health data. Late last year, we became the first CommonWell member to commit to offering CommonWell services to our clients through the just announced CommonWell Connector™ program.

Coupled with our new initiative called Patient360™, Health Gorilla will leverage the services and nationwide network established by CommonWell to streamline data sharing at the point of care. With the CommonWell connection, Patient360™ will allow any enabled provider to seamlessly request and retrieve their participating patients’ medical records from any other provider on the CommonWell network.

Together, Health Gorilla and CommonWell will help scale Puerto Rico’s largest interoperability initiative, with the goal of providing better access to high quality healthcare. These efforts will expand further in 2019 as more providers, EMRs, and vendors become connected to our network.

Visit Health Gorilla during HIMSS19 (Feb. 12-14 in Orlando) at Innovation Live to learn more about what we are doing to further interoperability, including in Puerto Rico and as the first CommonWell Connector!

Steve Yaskin is the CEO and co-founder of Health Gorilla.