What is Commonwell?

Commonwell is a health data-sharing network run as a nonprofit organization to improve interoperability. It allows caregivers to access patient records, regardless of where the care occurred, improving care coordination across different providers.

Taking a nonprofit approach, Commonwell has developed a vendor-neutral platform to enhance the effective exchange of health data by breaking down the barriers related to technology and cost. It works with numerous IT health initiatives that help improve care coordination using enhanced interoperability. Some IT initiatives it works with are HIMSS, DirectTrust, HL7, and the eHealth Initiative. 

Main Benefits of Commonwell 

The top benefit of Commonwell is having nationwide access to patient data and records among different systems. Commonwell also improves coordinated patient care, as care histories follow patients regardless of the hospitals and doctors they visit. 

With Commonwell, care providers can view the patient’s past and current care records, leading to better decision-making in the steps to take next. It also helps with better monitoring of the patient, whether remotely or physically. At the same time, it reduces the overall costs of accessing and implementing Electronic Health Records (EHRs)

What Are the Features of Commonwell? 

The features of Commonwell include: 

  • Document supply – Through Commonwell, healthcare providers can submit queries and retrieve information related to the previous medical history of their patients.
  • Data security – Commonwell is built to Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE) standards and the updated Health Level 7 Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (HL7 FHIR) standards. 
  • Nationwide coverage – Commonwell is active in all 50 states, D.C., and Puerto Rico. If the patient has been treated at a participating care provider anywhere in the U.S., their medical records can be accessed when needed. The patient records remain on the servers of the individual healthcare providers and not in a centralized database.