One example of the exchange's growth occurred when the 40th participant recently joined eHealth Exchange. That single node in the network added 80 hospitals and 19,000 clinical users in a single day, Yeager said.
More than 110 organizations in 29 states are actively engaged in the process of enabling data exchange through Healtheway, Yeager said. Some growth is fueled by collaboration with the Care Connectivity Consortium, five prominent health systems: Kaiser Permanente, Geisinger Health System, GroupHealth Cooperative, Intermountain Healthcare, and Mayo Clinic.
The primary types of data being exchanged today are documents structured in the HITSP C32 format, as well as unstructured documents, Yeager said. Medical documentation supporting CMS' End Stage Renal Disease Program are also being exchanged, as well as dialysis clinic quality CMS reporting data, she added. Formats supporting an eventual migration to the Consolidated CDA document format are also being exchanged.
The CommonWell Alliance and Healtheway have "an open dialogue," Yeager explained. CommonWell, a joint initiative of Cerner, McKesson, Allscripts, athenahealth, Greenway, and RelayHealth, is developing and planning to demonstrate interoperability among electronic health record systems starting in 2014.
"Anything that the vendor community can do to get providers connected is good, so we certainly recognize the importance of collaborating and working, finding ways to move together," Yeager said.
"Healtheway supports an emerging HIE models task group in which CommonWell participates. When their network is operational, their customers will likely have an interest and a need in exchanging with other health systems and providers around the country, and so if there is more than one network, we should be able to interoperate. It's about making sure we're really trying to maximize connectivity across the country."