HIE network eHealth Exchange, a rapidly growing community of healthcare organizations who securely share clinical information over the Internet using a common set of standards and specifications, has reached 100 members and expects to connect 40 percent of U.S. hospitals by the end of the year.

In particular, the eHealth Exchange has added small- and mid-sized medical groups, dialysis centers, as well as pharmacies to its membership. To date, the collaborative includes more than 13,000 medical groups, 3,400 dialysis centers, and 8,300 participating pharmacies across the country.

“Historically, the eHealth Exchange has been known as an exchange for large care providers, health information exchange organizations and government agencies. What’s particularly interesting about the new growth statistics is the increased connectivity with other types of care settings, such as pharmacies, dialysis centers and small and medium sized medical groups,” said John Kansky, president and CEO of the Indiana Health Information Exchange and vice chair of the eHealth Exchange coordinating committee.

An initiative of The Sequoia Project (previously Healtheway), a non-profit collaborative focused on advancing the implementation of interoperable nationwide HIE, the eHealth Exchange already has the distinction of being the largest HIE network in the United States representing a third of U.S. hospitals and 100 million patients. In late June, Healtheway was renamed The Sequoia Project as part of a rebranding effort.

Also See: Healtheway Gets New Name, Business Model Remains Same

Originally created as a federal program initiative under the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, the eHealth Exchange’s current participants include four federal agencies—the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Department of Defense, Department of Veterans Affairs, and Social Security Administration—with a fifth agency expected to join later this year.

Organizations that want to participate in the eHealth Exchange must validate the compliance of their health IT with performance and service specifications. According to the eHealth Exchange, it is accelerating its testing for organizations that have been pretested for compliance to shorten the testing process.

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