"If somebody says, 'what are you going to do with standard such-and-such,' we'd be happy to tell them, and we'll give them the documentation to the degree that it's been settled and exists. So I think it's, at the moment, as open as it needs to be to move us forward. The APIs and all will obviously be completely open when we settle on them. There will be some open source developments done as we figure out what parts of the code are proprietary to the vendor itself, to the service provider, and then to CommonWell, and the CommonWell code could be opensourced, so we're just working all that out."
Recently, I talked about health information exchanges with a CIO who was confident that he could now wait for vendor-provided HIEs rather than rely upon regional, state or federal HIE efforts. I got the strong impression this CIO is expecting CommonWell to provide that HIE, and asked the Cerner executives if CommonWell was building a national HIE.
"A little bit of confusion stems from the fact that HIE has a lot of different meanings, and there are some functions that a traditional or typical HIE would deliver that CommonWell will overlap with," McCallie says.
"But there are other functions that some of the more successful HIEs are delivering that CommonWell will not try to deliver, so it's not a simple either/or question. The phrase that we've used, [is] we're focused on the plumbing, moving the data from where it lives to where the patient needs it with a current physician encounter."
To be specific, CommonWell is building the identity management and encounter locator services, as well as some consent management and "transparency services," says McCallie.