CommonWell Health Alliance announced last week that members will be giving patients access to their health data for the first time via the CommonWell network.

The CommonWell Health Alliance is a not-for-profit trade association of health IT companies working together to create universal access to health data nationwide. CommonWell members represent two-thirds of the acute care EHR market and more than one-third of the ambulatory care EHR market, and include athenahealth, Cerner, McKesson, and more.

Patients can access their health data via self-enrollment in CommonWell, self-link their health records, and self-query their health data on the network. Patients will be able to give all their providers more secure, instant access to their health data, improving care coordination. This method will also save patients the hassle of tracking down health information provider by provider.

“Far too often individuals and the people who care for them are stymied by the onerous task of accessing their health data. CommonWell and its members are dedicated to helping break down the barriers that make it difficult for patients to access that information,” said Jitin Asnaani, executive director of  CommonWell Health Alliance. “By enabling these services, our CommonWell members will empower people to be more engaged in managing their health and the health of their loved ones.”

A recent HealthMine survey revealed that 53 percent of patients can’t access their data online; however, nearly 74 percent said easy electronic access to health data would improve their knowledge of their health and improve communication with their physicians.

MediPortal and Integrated Data Services have committed to launch these new services by the end of 2016–the earliest of the CommonWell members.

“In a world where the care delivery system is shifting to value-based care, patients are ever increasingly being asked to be discretionary consumers, and data access is the key to empowering the patient to become a savvy consumer,” said Anand Prabhu, CEO of MediPortal. “CommonWell is the only multivendor network that not only enables interoperability, but most importantly, enables the data to truly follow the patient wherever he or she goes for care. We at MediPortal are thrilled to be one of the first companies to offer access to these services direct to the consumer.”

“Integrated Data Services is committed to helping people be active participants and advocates of their own health care,” said Moti Mitteldorf, CTO of Integrated Data Services. “The extension of CommonWell services to consumers via integrated services like ours is a first-of-its-kind opportunity. True interoperability, as well as ease of use that our portals bring providers and patients, is a huge win for our end users, partners and providers as well as the health care industry as a whole.”

As of August 2016, more than 8,000 sites across all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico have committed to using CommonWell services.

Read More About