The Sequoia Project, which for nine years has operated a national health information exchange, is updating its corporate structure as it continues to increase its role as a central convener for fostering healthcare data interoperability.

Under the updated corporate structure, Sequoia—which has technology in 75 percent of the nation’s hospitals and supports secure exchange of records for more than 120 million patients, will have two distinct subsidiaries: eHealth Exchange and Carequality.

Sequoia’s eHealth Exchange is the national HIE; Sequoia also has an interoperability structure called Carequality, which is a framework of legally binding business, policy and technical requirements that enable members with existing data networks to communicate with members of other networks, just as cell phone users can call other users regardless of their carrier.

Carequality also offers record locator services and a phone book of providers, implementers and other services, supported by the Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources standard, known as FHIR.

“They’ve grown up and are ready to take roles independently,” says Mariann Yeager, CEO at Sequoia.

Also See: Sequoia Project starts program to share patient data during disasters

Jay Nakashima will serve as vice president of the eHealth Exchange at Sequoia, and Dave Cassel is the vice president at Carequality.

Consequently, Sequoia now will focus on supporting development of incubators to create the next generation of health interoperability innovators, and develop a national version of the Patient Unified Lookup System for Emergencies, or PULSE, to get electronic health records to emergency medical professionals and healthcare providers, regardless of where patients and evacuees are being treated when a disaster strikes.

PULSE actually has been used during a disaster, but only for a short time. It was activated during California wildfires in late 2017 for volunteers to register and work in medical hospitals and field hospitals, but few residents lived in the region and individuals needing care were sent to the hospital, a physician office or urgent care center.

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