CommonWell Health Alliance
Not-for-profit trade association funded by members
Governed by Board of Directors with an Independent General Counsel
Publicly available Bylaws and Governance Policies in line with best practices for transparency and fairness
Geographic Reach (within US)
CommonWell Health Alliance is devoted to the simple vision that health data should be available to individuals and providers regardless of where care occurs. Additionally, provider access to this data must be built-in health IT at a reasonable cost for use by a broad range of health care providers and the people they serve.
How does this approach facilitate exchange?
CommonWell enables exchange across vendors through the implementation of its services with participating vendors, which include:
Patient enrollment (enable each individual to be registered and uniquely identified in the CommonWell network),
Record location (create a “virtual table of contents” that specifies the available locations for patient information),
Patient identification and linking (link each individual’s clinical records across the care continuum),
Data query/retrieval (enable caregivers to search, potentially select and receive needed data across a trusted network).
Access Method (use cases)
Federated query-based exchange based on centralized record location and patient ID management
Execute a vendor-neutral platform that breaks down the technological and process barriers that currently inhibit effective health data exchange.
Define and promote a national infrastructure with common standards and policies.
Leverage existing standards and policies in order to enable scalable, secure and reliable interoperability as easily as possible for members and their customers across the nation.
Network to network
Number of live connections and/or participants
More than 13,000 provider sites live in all 50 states, D.C. and Puerto Rico
(As of March 2019)
80 members, who represent more than 20 care settings, more than 15 public and proprietary networks, and market leaders and technology innovators in acute, ambulatory and post-acute care, patient portals, imaging, population health, emergency services and more.
Mainly acute and ambulatory care settings
- Health Information Technology (Health IT) suppliers and digital Health companies
- Health care providers, such as physician offices, clinics, hospitals, pharmacies, laboratories, etc.
- Other health-focused organizations, including non-profit and for-profit institutes, government agencies, etc.
Costs (Amount and/or Party Incurring Cost)
Cost of Services to the Provider/End User: Each member determines the cost for deploying to its providers/end users. CommonWell does note that access to this data must be built-in health IT at a reasonable cost
Membership Dues: Charged for services utilization under an affordable, commodity-like fee structure. Any pass-through of these charges to providers will be at the discretion of their health IT supplier membership fees. Dues will be based upon an organization’s annual US revenue. Available services require applicable Commercial/Certification fees.
Member Services Fees: Only applicable to those members who offer CommonWell Services to their clients. In order to allow access to Members of all sizes, the Alliance charges a fixed-rate fee for an annual subscription based upon the Member’s annual revenue.
For Members planning to offer CommonWell Services to its clients, a Member Services Agreement (MSA) between the member company and the Alliance is required. The MSA outlines what Member obligations and terms are with regards to core services available through the Alliance’s Service Provider. For additional information, click here.
CommonWell does not maintain a central copy of clinical records. Data remain within the provider HIT system where it was collected. CommonWell services will provide identification and matching that facilitate trusted data sharing among member systems.
Centralized MPI and RLS, accessible by Members via the specifications. Utilizes HL7 FHIR® and other applicable HL7/IHE standards.
Leverages existing standards that members use to enable scalable, secure and reliable interoperability.
CommonWell specifications utilize widely adopted HL7 & IHE standards (e.g., PIX for patient identity, HL7 FHIR® standard with RESTFUL protocols for record location, XCA and XDS.b for locating and retrieving patient data).
Additionally, CommonWell is one of the first implementers of the FHIR® standard for patient identification services. As with any new standard, it is constantly evolving and CommonWell is working on its use of the FHIR® standard to meet STU3 requirements.
All CommonWell specifications are publicly accessible.
Onboarding Process (Requirements to connect)
See Certification Requirements for Participation.
Federated Model: The data remains within the provider health IT system where it was collected. CommonWell services will provide identification and matching that facilitate trusted data sharing among member systems.
Certification Requirements for Participation
The CommonWell Service Provider onboards Member products onto the network prior to deploying. The onboarding process includes certification and testing steps.
Testing is one step in the process of being onboarded onto the network.
Highly scalable network: no point-to-point contracting or connectivity testing required.
Extend services across new settings of care and providers via new and current members.
Build new application programming interfaces (APIs) that will complement existing services and increase the value of the CommonWell network to individuals and caregivers
Expand consumer-mediated exchange of health data
Current Collaboration across Efforts
CommonWell Health Alliance have established a connection with the Carequality framework, allowing CommonWell members the ability to access patient records within the Carequality network. (source)
NATE and CommonWell Health Alliance are both members of their respective organizations with goals of collaboration to expand interoperability for patient-generated health data. No services to date between this collaboration. (source)
Last updated April 2019