5 Reasons Why Electronic Health Records are Better than Paper Records

| January 15, 2020

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By now, leadership in your medical organization is starting to conclude that there are more problems than benefits in continuing to use using paper-based records and it is time to make the switch to electronic health records. While some practices can manage to get by using old-fashioned paper, the drawbacks can no longer be ignored. Paper records are simply too insecure and it is becoming increasingly difficult to justify using this outdated method of maintaining patient files. In fact, using an electronic health record or EHR system offers you much better control over information security. To help you make the case to your team for going forward with an EHR, here are five reasons why electronic health records are more secure than paper records.

Spotlight

The Sequoia Project

The Sequoia Project is a non-profit 501c3 chartered to advance implementation of secure, interoperable nationwide health information exchange. The Sequoia Project supports health IT interoperability initiatives, most notably: the eHealth Exchange, a rapidly growing community of exchange partners who share information under a common trust framework and a common set of rules; and Carequality, a public-private collaborative effort to build consensus among existing data sharing networks regarding technical specifications and best practices, much like the telecommunications industry did for linking cell phone networks.

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Blockchain in the Healthcare Industry

Article | January 8, 2021

Prioritizing health and managing it, has become highly important because our lifestyle is continuously evolving in ways that take a toll on us mentally, physically, and emotionally. However, the major issue for the patients lies in the inaccuracy of treatment due to the lack of complete health records in any hospital. With the recent changes in privacy legislation and data management, patients are even unable to retrieve their own health records. For example, someone had an accident and was taken to the emergency room. The first thing they will need to do in their condition is to fill the hospital’s form. Then, for the treatment, if the injured person is conscious enough, doctors ask questions like if they are allergic to some medicines or do they suffer from diabetes or any other disease. Besides, what if the individual denies having allergies or diabetes in their half-conscious state? And the previous hospitals where they have already had treatment before have denied sharing the medical details of the person either due to privacy issues or data corruption. Well, it can create a lot of fuzz. Solely, to improve the health industry without compromising the security of the individuals, blockchain has remained in the discussion. It has the potential to address the operability challenges present in the healthcare industry. But, what is blockchain, what are its underlying fundamentals, why blockchain, and what are its advantages? Today’s blog will help in understanding every aspect of blockchain and its impact on the healthcare industry. So let’s get started! What is Blockchain? Blockchain is a P2P or peer-to-peer distributed or decentralized ledger technology. It stores a chain of data called blocks of information. These blocks are chained together by cryptographic signatures. These signatures are called hash that is stored in the shared ledger and backed by a connected processes network - node. These nodes reserve a copy of the complete chain and get continually updated by synchronization. Though, to include blockchain in the process it’s necessary to hire a developer who has prior experience and knowledge about its architecture and can work with the components efficiently as blockchain is a designed pattern that consists of three major constituents - a distributed network, a shared ledger, and all the digital transactions. a. Distributed Network As discussed before, blockchain is built on peer-to-peer networks. While having no central point of storage, it makes the information on the network less vulnerable to being lost or exploited. Unlike the traditional client-server model that has a centralized storage point or controlling party, all the information in the blockchain network is constantly recorded and transferred to the participants of the network that are also known as nodes or peers. These peers also own several identical copies of the information. That’s why blockchain is seen as a huge improvement to centralized models and is considered the future of data storage and ownership. b. Shared Ledger Each authorized participant in the network records the transactions into the shared ledger. If they want to add any transaction, it is important to run algorithms that evaluate and verify the transactions. If the majority of members agree to the transaction’s validity, a new transaction gets added to the shared ledger. The changes done in the shared ledger is reflected in minutes or even seconds in the copies of the blockchain. Once the transaction is added, there’s no way to modify or delete it. Also, as the copy is shared in the form of a ledger to each member, no single member can alter data. c. Digital Transaction Transactions are information i.e. data transmission to one block. During the process of data transmission, each node acts as a central point to generate and digitally sign the transaction. As the nodes connect each other in the network, each of them has to verify the transaction independently for its conflicts, validity, and compliance. Only after the transaction passes the verification, the information is added into the shared ledger. The major element that makes digital transactions successful is cryptographic hashing that encrypts the data for security. Why Blockchain technology in healthcare? It has happened so often that the patient remains unable to gather all of their previous medical records in one format from one place swiftly or sometimes cannot even collect the required information at all. Unfortunately, in most cases, the information of critical patients remains scattered across several different institutions of healthcare that too in different formats. Besides, the data management systems along with the security regulations also vary in different institutions making it difficult to trace and fix mistakes. But, what can blockchain do? A blockchain is a system used for storing and sharing information with security and transparency. Every block in the chain is an independent unit of its own and a dependent link among the collective chain that creates a network controlled by participants rather than a third party. As blockchains are managed by network nodes instead of central authority, they are decentralized that prevents one entity from having complete control over the network. With the incorporation of blockchain, the need for a central administrator will be removed by cryptography. Healthcare providers will be able to promote data management processes beyond perception. It will help in collecting, analyzing, sharing, and securing medical records. It will provide the access to healthcare workers for retrieving health records with the cryptographic keys provided by patients from anywhere without creating any privacy or security problems. Advantages of Healthcare Blockchain Although applications of blockchain in the healthcare industry are inceptive, some early solutions have shown the possibility of reduced healthcare costs, improved access to information among different stakeholders, and streamlining the entire business process. So, keeping aside the buzz, let’s see the real advantages of blockchain in healthcare. 1. Master Patient Indexes The master patient index helps in the identification of patients across separate administrative systems. It is often created within the EHR or electronic health record system. As these EHRs have different vendors, there are several irregularities of MPIs. In many cases, the data of a patient between these healthcare systems become mismatched. However, with the nature of decentralization in Blockchain, it possesses the ability to solve the issue. In the blockchain-based MPIs, the data will be hashed to the ledger and content will remain unique as only the authorized nodes of the data can make changes to the hashes while all parties with access can only check the related information. 2. Single, elongated patient records Blockchain technology is potent to transform health care by placing patients at the center of the system while increasing the security and privacy of health records. It provides a new model for health information exchange by forming electronic elongated patient records secured and efficient. Additionally, the fact that the data is copied among all the nodes of the blockchain network creates an atmosphere of clarity and transparency that enables healthcare providers and patients to know how their data is handled by whom, how, and when. It can also help healthcare from potential frauds, data losses, or security attacks. 3. Supply Chain Management Supply chain management in healthcare is a challenging aspect. With scattered settings for ordering drugs, medical supplies, and critical resources, there’s an inherent risk of compromising the supply chain that might impact patient safety. Indulgence of blockchain technology in the transactions can tap into the complete process of medicine or drug products movement. As all the transactions will be recorded onto the shared ledger with every block recording and maintaining every transaction, it will become easy to verify the vendor, distributor, and origin of the drug within a matter of seconds. It will also enable healthcare physicians and officials to check the authenticity of the supplier’s credentials. 4. Claims Justification Currently, the insurance claim processes face difficulties like lack of transparency i.e. most customers don’t even know how insurance works; human errors and inefficiencies i.e. insurances are full of confusion along with human errors that create inefficiencies that lead to the increased cost to customers; higher frauds in claims. But, blockchain technology can simplify and enhance recordkeeping, payment processing, claims registration, contract management, and closure with its immutable ledger. 5. Interoperability Interoperability is the capability of distinct healthcare information technology to interpret, exchange, and use data. Due to the privacy issues, the alphanumeric code to identify a patient has been revoked that caused problems in gathering the required record of the patient. Enforcing measurement standards for industry-wide interoperability is also a challenge in interoperability. With blockchain in healthcare interoperability, data can be shared in real-time on the trusted network and provides access to the patient’s record in a secured manner. Moreover, with the pri

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4 Key Factors Influencing the Effectiveness of Health Tech Messaging

Article | January 29, 2021

COVID-19 has sped up the adoption of healthcare technology solutions by healthcare providers. This has unexpectedly brought a peak in opportunity for health tech companies to achieve important business, demonstrating your innovations. However, it is very challenging and competitive as bigger health tech companies pivot and new health tech start-ups keep coming into the healthcare market. This also makes the healthcare technology market an increasingly competitive space. Thus, all health tech companies need to depend more on effective health tech messaging for their business purpose and credibility. This will help them bring their targeted clients on board for the long-term. Health tech Messaging Challenges Faced by Marketers Nowadays, the process of marketing products online is a combat sport. With every passing year, it is becoming more challenging for health tech marketers to beat the algorithms, build the audience, and ultimately win the hearts of the customers through effective health tech messaging. Digital health leaders are coming up with amazing technology innovations that can revolutionize the healthcare industry. Electronic medical records (EMR) software, medical billing software, medical practice management software, electronic claims software, medical database software, medical research software, medical diagnosis software, medical imaging software, telemedicine software, etc. are some of the examples of amazing technology innovations and latest healthcare technologies. But, things fall apart when it comes to marketing through effective health tech messaging. The following are some of the health tech messaging challenges faced by marketers. • Communicating the purpose and value of your business and the products effectively to clients • Making the clients understand the credibility of the technology products and your business • Product positioning • Lack of clear healthcare marketing strategy • Bad marketing advice • Lack of effective and compelling marketing content • Failing to understand the client/buyer persona • Failing to understand the brand pillars, • Ignorant of effective use of various messaging channels, and much more Why Does Effective Health Tech Messaging Matter? From the introduction part, you might have already understood the power of a good health tech messaging strategy. If you do not have a unified marketing strategy, you will end up merely alienating potential customers; they may end up in confusion about the purpose of your health tech brand. Moreover, without an effective health tech messaging strategy, you may become incoherent to your audience. But the real impact of a cohesive and good health tech messaging strategy will surely go beyond everything we have talked about already and empower your business in all aspects. Different marketing materials, whether they are social media posts, emails, podcasts, videos, or something else, your health tech messaging strategy will guide you in determining what to focus on and what tone to be used. If you are planning a social media campaign or writing blogs and articles, you will know the attention-grabbing ways of speaking to your customers. This is possible only if you have a defined messaging strategy. Customer service teamwork also becomes more effective and easier, when you have a good health tech messaging strategy. Educating the customer is easier when you speak to them in a tone and language that you know they will understand. Doing it consistently makes you win the customer. How Health Tech Messaging Can Work for Reaching Healthcare Decision Makers It is not an easy task to engage healthcare decision-makers in hospitals, insurance providers, health systems, and private practices. These high-powered directors, managers, and executives are busier than ever. This makes the process of health tech marketing difficult. Apart from overwhelming job responsibilities, these healthcare professionals are also inundated with ads, emails, and phone calls. So rather than sending them messages randomly, it is important to help your prospects when they are free from their daily disruptions and have time. Here, an effective health tech messaging strategy can help you reach out to decision makers easily. Health tech messaging strategy lays out various health tech marketing techniques, tricks, or tactics. These health tech messaging techniques or methodologies are helpful in the three stages of your health tech client journey: awareness, consideration, and decision making stages. Through all these stages of health tech massaging, you help or influence health tech decision makers to recognise they have a problem, consider a solution, and finally they take the decision to purchase your product. 4 Factors Influencing the Effectiveness of Health Tech Messaging Performing your brand messaging haphazardly is not going to take you anywhere in reaching out to people, who need your products. Instead, you should slow down yourself a bit and build a compelling health tech messaging strategy. Test it, launch it, and learn from it. If you are strategic, you are truly going to drive your mission despite the noise that is existing on the internet today. Here are four important factors that will help you make your health tech messaging strategy effective and compelling. Understanding Your Targeted Audience You have a better idea of who you are and what you offer. Now you need to know who your audience is, which is equally important in building health tech messaging strategy. Throughout the process of messaging, it is vital to keep your ideal buyer in mind. So, you will only create messages that will resonate with the needs, interests, motivations, and pain points of your potential clients. The things you want to know about your targeted clients are called buyer/client persona. Buyer Persona It is better to create a buyer persona that tells who your customer and what their goals are. Buyer persona also will help you align your brand with your customers. According to HubSpot, a buyer persona can be a semi-fictional representation of your potential customers based on real data and market research and about your current customers. Knowing who your messages are aimed at is important in developing a successful health tech brand messaging strategy. Before you go any further, buyer persona makes you know: • Who you are marketing to • What they care about and value • The sort of language they use and will respond to • Geographical location • Educational and income levels • Psychographics and behavioral patterns, etc. Focusing on Your Differentiating Factors from Competitors To figure out your differentiating factors from the competitors is as important as you understand your place in the market. You will have to assess the differences and similarities between the products and services you offer and your competitors’ offerings. Also, compare the targeted audience of you and your competitors. Understanding your competition, you face from the market, will get you a clear image of your brand and what health tech message you may have to send out to your targeted audience. Just remember that each of the health tech brands can have only one message; it needs to be unique. Due to the competition, messages can be too similar, but it should not make your customers get confused about your business. Thus, communicating your uniqueness to your audience is a very important factor. In this regard, conducting some competitor analysis may help you a lot. Making your Value Propositions Obvious You can influence how people perceive your brand if you could successfully communicate the values of your business. Values are principles or mission that guide all actions of brands. Storytelling can be effectively used to illustrate the values of your brand. Success stories from Salesforce and Microsoft’s Story Labs are examples. These stories can be on things such as empowering small businesses or improving the world through technology. It creates loyalty when you make your clients feel they are part of something that is going to change the world for the better. It is very helpful to start your health tech messaging process with your value prop because it is the core of what you do and who you are. Your value prop explains both the emotional and functional benefits your service or products provides. This means the value people get out of your products. Communicating the values of your company is considered strong health tech messaging only when it specifies how your brand is going to solve a problem and why should people choose your product. Using Multiple Technology Channels for Brand Messaging In general, digital health tech messaging has to be pinpointed. The spray and pray method will not work to bring in inbound leads. However, if you want to reach out to health tech audience with your health tech messaging, you should be there on all the channels they are on. Here are a few examples of channels, which can be used to reach out to people effectively with your health tech messaging process. Digital Ads If digital ads are used effectively for health tech messaging, you can reach out to your target audience easily. When digital ads are used correctly, you can pinpoint the audience through audience targeting and keywords. Moreover, through ad channels, you can reach out to people who otherwise would not have ever known about your products. However, if you are not using digital ads effectively, you will lose money without any results. Social Media Most people are active on some sort of social media channels. Many of these people use these channels either for networking or educating themselves in their field. This is the reason why you should concentrate on social media platforms for effective health tech messaging in a way that encourages interaction and feedback. Along with establishing a strong relationship with your prospects, you can also use social media platforms to build brand awareness through health tech messaging process. Emails Emails are the fruitful medium for effective health tech messaging. You can build brand awareness through seeding emails regularly. It will work as a bookmark than a selling point. Potential clients will remember the good interaction you had with them through emails when they have a problem in the future. Along with these channels, other channels such as videos, websites, blogs, articles, podcasts, etc. also can be used for effective health tech messaging. These multiple channels, where most of your potential clients are present, are selling points for your health tech products or helps in lead generation for healthcare technology products. To sum up, what matters more in health tech messaging and marketing is projecting your values, differentiating factors, knowing A to Z about your targeted audience, and meeting them on the channel, where they are present. Your health tech brand message is something that makes you dwell in the minds of people. Thus, how you are perceived matters a lot. Start building your brand today by sending out effective health tech messages to your potential clients. Frequently Asked Questions How does health tech messaging help? Heathtech messaging helps you to improve your business by making your potential clients understand what you are and what you do. Brand awareness of your products is done through effective health tech messaging. What is the best health tech messaging method? The best health tech messaging method is to project your business values in all the marketing campaigns you do. It should specify what your customers can expect from your products and services and what changes it will make in society. How does technology help in healthcare? Technology helps healthcare to avail all patients the best treatment available and make them satisfied and engaged. Also, technology helps healthcare industry to innovate treatments and revolutionize the entire practice in the healthcare sector. Why is technology important in healthcare? For achieving optimum patient satisfaction and engagement, technology is important in healthcare. Also, technology plays a role in improving the healthcare system and saving the lives of people.

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Top 10 Strategies for Healthcare Digital Marketing

Article | July 22, 2020

What is Healthcare Digital Marketing Digital marketing is a new wave in the world of healthcare marketing strategy. Using advanced technologies that use online marketing platforms such as websites, social media channels, and SEO techniques, to reach potential clients with healthcare products and services encompasses healthcare digital marketing. Digital marketing in the healthcare sector makes it easier to create, communicate, and deliver health information and make interventions regarding protecting and promoting the health of diverse populations. Strategies for Healthcare Digital Marketing There are many trending healthcare digital marketing strategies you can use beneficially in healthcare, but here are the top 10 trending strategies that can help you ensure success: Create a Wholesome Patient Experience on Your Website As part of effective healthcare digital marketing for your services, crafting a patient-focused website will help to provide a seamless experience for visitors. While it is important to create a website that you can optimize for search engines, it is also crucial to simplify the process for first-time as well as repeat visitors. Use a conversational tone and features that allow easy navigation so that patients don’t feel like they are being bombarded with medical jargon. Take a look at Mayo Clinic’s homepage. A patient's needs like online scheduling, specialist lookup, and contact information are easily available, while secondary information for those who would like to explore more before they make an appointment is below. This user-friendly healthcare digital marketing strategy will help you a lot in making visitors return to your website, and when they are looking for products and services. Employ a Responsive Web Design With more people leaving the confines of PCs to use the web easily and comfortably, ensuring that your website is responsive to various types of devices is paramount. This applies more to mobile devices because Google has introduced mobile-first indexing in September 2020. Branding Matters If you want to use healthcare digital marketing campaigns efficiently you have to identify what your organization as a brand can give patients. Even if it is healthcare, where target markets and organizational priorities are almost similar, patients need differentiating factors for each healthcare provider. If you don’t want a patient to be lost in the sea of white coats, figuring out what is special about what you can offer is crucial. Make sure your organizational goals and healthcare digital marketing goals are in sync to avoid unnecessary expenditure. Analyze your competition and let that assist you in shaping the path that your healthcare digital marketing strategy will take. You can often learn a lot from a competitor’s mistakes. Provide Blog Content That Is Optimized for SEO Symptom-related searches constitute 1% of all searches, that’s millions, on Google. Use this information to your benefit when planning your editorial calendar for blogs and include it efficiently in your healthcare digital marketing strategy. While you plan around national health observances, you can integrate long-tail keywords, provide links to reputed health sites and articles within your website, and invest in healthcare digital marketing plans. The four to five listings that show at the top of Google’s organic search results page are called the local pack—this part is vital for mobile users because it is all the screen can display before the user scrolls down. If you haven’t already, you should claim your healthcare website on Google My Business and keep it updated. Apart from this, healthcare digital content marketing plans need to be optimized for healthcare-specific SEO keywords. Supplement Blogs with Video Content With more algorithms prioritizing video content, you don’t want to be left behind without any good video content. In the healthcare industry, you have the added benefit of adding to your physician’s credibility if you create edutainment videos telling patients about their area of expertise. Healthcare video marketing can help you leverage the physicians in your organization that are authorities in their respective fields of medicine. Long and scary procedures being described by certified physicians is often reassuring for patients. Likewise, patient testimonials can pay this comforting reassurance forward, resulting in building a good reputation for your organization through similar healthcare digital marketing approaches. Take Advantage of Paid Advertising After you’ve created all this carefully crafted content that is optimized for SEO, you can’t just let it sit only on your website. Sometimes even if you maintain up-to-date business listings, Google’s local pack is overshadowed by paid ads. You have to promote it on search engines and social media platforms through pay-per-click (PPC), search, targeted, and display ads. Here you need a clear healthcare digital marketing strategy. Call-only campaigns and other ad extensions can be used to promote the services you offer as well. Leverage Social Media While organic social media campaigns are great, they can only get you so far. Using it as your only social media strategy can only give you subpar results compared to paid social campaigns. A paid social media plan is more than just clicking on ‘boost’, you have to create a strategy that suits your goals, targets the audience you need, and budgets for a specific ROI. You can create highly personalized campaigns without wasting your budget and reach the patients who are most likely to find your posts useful. It can be quite advantageous if you use healthcare social media marketing to your benefit while being tasteful in what you post. A healthcare care social media platform can be included in your healthcare digital marketing strategy. Set up an Email Strategy In healthcare, there are a few types of emails you can take advantage of, like reminders for appointments and annual physicals, seasonal tips for flu season, and announcements about new technology being used in your organization. Letting opportunities like these slip by is lost chances to keep patients engaged with your services and your patients also lose out on information that potentially could have been useful to them. Including a well-planned email marketing strategy as a part of your healthcare digital marketing plan will prevent patients from marking your email as spam and give you good open rates. Setting up free subscription-based newsletters as Johns Hopkins Medicine does allows you to prevent unnecessary unsubscribes as well. Follow-up with Patient Reviews and Feedback Word-of-mouth referrals have and always will be a part of marketing and healthcare digital marketing can help you evaluate the quality of the referrals you are getting. Patient success stories often inspire and evoke emotional responses from people, apart from serving as a way to show others the quality of the healthcare services you provide. Track Your Healthcare Digital Marketing Strategies After you’ve put all this effort into creating healthcare digital marketing strategies for email, social, and video you have to analyze where your budget is being spent the most, and whether it is reaping you the kind of benefits you are expecting. Understanding and capitalizing on patient micro-moments allows you to position your brand appropriately so that you are right there when they need your services. Measuring and studying your healthcare digital marketing conversion metrics is highly beneficial when it comes to using your resources to serve your needs best. It doesn’t hurt to track all the mediums you’re using to communicate with patients including calls that are made to your front desk. Analyzing this data can help you understand the blockers that lie in the path between a patient and doctor. A laggy scheduling system, long call-hold times, and patient misinformation are just some of the revelations this analysis can bring to light. Trends in Healthcare Digital Marketing Healthcare digital marketing plans were almost non-existent, but they slowly developed to include traditional marketing like print, direct mail, television, and radio. The limitations of these media can now be overcome with healthcare digital marketing. Doctor reviews, patient discussion forums, and physician certifications and availability are now an online search away for most patients. On-demand healthcare is becoming increasingly popular, and big data is playing a pivotal role in decreasing errors via patient record analyses and creating preventative plans for recurring emergency room patients. The future even holds possibilities for telesurgeries, telemedicine continues to grow, and virtual patient treatment and other emerging technologies are changing the landscape of healthcare digital marketing. High-risk patients are being aided by heart rate sensors, oximeters, and exercise trackers paving the way for increased investment in medical devices that can be worn. These devices give people a sense of agency when it comes to their health while creating room for gamification and considerable changes in healthcare insurance. Even with all these innovative changes, for healthcare digital marketers, one aspect will remain primary and this is the patient. Gone are the days when healthcare costs were affordable and patients were not proactive in researching which healthcare provider to choose. The modern patient has to be prudent in selecting the person responsible for improving their health, and it is your responsibility as a marketer to show them why your organization is the best. Stay updated with the latest healthcare digital marketing trends with webinars as the times are changing faster than ever. Frequently Asked Questions What is healthcare digital marketing? Marketing healthcare products and services with the use of advanced digital technologies and techniques are called healthcare digital marketing. These techniques can be Google AdWords campaigns, responsive websites, SEO tactics, mobile apps, unique landing pages, social media campaigns, and email marketing programs, and much more. Why is digital marketing important in healthcare? Healthcare providers are facing challenges everywhere, especially in marketing their products and services. So, as technology is evolving, to stay competitive and continue improving the patient experience, the healthcare industry should invest in healthcare digital marketing strategies. What is a healthcare marketing strategy? Healthcare marketing strategies support and promote the practices of healthcare providers and telemedicine providers. Healthcare digital marketing strategy includes many channels and forms to target the right patients in the right way at the right time.

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Interoperability and the clinically connected healthcare operations platform

Article | February 27, 2020

One off implementation services often take additional time to build, are more brittle and susceptible to failure, are less performant, and can impede realizing full value from your ERP investment. Productized integration means that there is ongoing coordination of the ERP application, the interface design, and the EHR, and that the interfaces are optimized for performance and tested prior to release. Productized integration delivers value faster and more reliably than one off implementations. For example, Infor Clinical Bridge is a product and subject to the exacting product design and testing process required for product release.

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Spotlight

The Sequoia Project

The Sequoia Project is a non-profit 501c3 chartered to advance implementation of secure, interoperable nationwide health information exchange. The Sequoia Project supports health IT interoperability initiatives, most notably: the eHealth Exchange, a rapidly growing community of exchange partners who share information under a common trust framework and a common set of rules; and Carequality, a public-private collaborative effort to build consensus among existing data sharing networks regarding technical specifications and best practices, much like the telecommunications industry did for linking cell phone networks.

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