GUEST BLOG: Da Vinci Project’s One-on-One with Founding Member HealthLX

By: Jocelyn Keegan

As the Program Manager for the Da Vinci Project, I get to work with leadership across the many stakeholders represented in our private-sector initiative under HL7. Our core focus is to advance value-based healthcare by enabling payer-provider data transfer. We believe this data sharing required for value-based workflows will be made possible by leveraging HL7® Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR(r)). Da Vinci’s 30+ members include payers, providers and health information technology companies. Da Vinci's open business model process enables members to identify and develop use cases that involve managing and sharing clinical and administrative data between industry partners. With Da Vinci’s alignment with the power of HL7, new and ever evolving business requirements can be translated into national healthcare industry standards.

HealthLX is a founding member of the Da Vinci Project and their team members have taken an active role since its launch in early 2018, best known for its leadership in HIE, EHR and clinical interoperability. I recently had the opportunity to reflect with Will Tesch, HealthLX CEO about his organization’s participation:

Q: I remember meeting you at our first Birds of a Feather at HL7 workgroup meeting.  What drove HealthLX to join the Da Vinci Project?

Will: Value-based care is the next step in the evolution of healthcare in this country, and Da Vinci’s role is crucial in defining the new workflows. We saw in Da Vinci one of the first instances of payers and providers working together on pragmatic, deployable solutions and we wanted to contribute. Argonaut was a forerunner in terms of standardizing data exchange in healthcare, but their electronic health record work is focused within the provider network. Da Vinci is tackling the gap between payers and providers. Radically improving healthcare interoperability is at the core of HealthLX’s mission, so we’re right there working at the intersection of data and that last mile of workflows, where data is transferred between payers and providers. Timely exchange of patient information will help improve outcomes and reduce errors.

Q: Can you share the use cases your team has worked on?

Will: One of the first is the Data Exchange for Quality Measures (DEQM). When patients visit their provider, DEQM enables a digital record of that encounter which can be shared with payers. The first application helps providers and care coordinators create a complete, accurate patient medication record across care settings. This use case is one of the farthest along in the HL7 balloting process.

Another use case we’re working on is the eHealth Record Exchange: Payer Data Exchange (PDex). The goal here is to make it possible for providers to easily access payer data on a patient’s prior healthcare services during the encounter, so providers can more effectively manage the patient’s care.

It’s really important to recognize that the end-goal for the healthcare industry goes beyond sharing data. Sharing data is the first step to creating new workflows that decrease the distance between payers, providers and patients. In a recent article, Gartner analyst Barry Runyon talks about the fact that we’re still in the early stages of leveraging the full value of interoperability. He points out that it’s going to take both “interoperability capabilities and a leadership mindset to share work between and across cooperating systems.”1 I couldn’t agree with him more.

Q. Can you share where you see an organization like HealthLX’s role with Da Vinci?

Will: Our value proposition is enabling last-mile interoperability – the phase when payers and providers share and exchange data to collaborate on value-based care. With Da Vinci, we enable systems to talk to each other, so we’re kind of like Elmer’s glue.

Our team at HealthLX really cares about solving healthcare operational inefficiencies.  At the core are these interoperability challenges, so we want to understand the ‘whys’, not just the ‘hows’, behind workflow innovation. Our participation in Da Vinci helps us decide how we want to build and evolve our products and validates our thought leadership.

Q: Let’s get real. What is it like to be involved in standards development. What is the typical week like for your team?

Will: Our team is currently part of several Da Vinci working groups. Once a week, various people within our team get on a call for about an hour to share updates within each group, troubleshoot and resolve issues to keep moving forward. The end goal is to deliver balloted standards that are ready for testing, adoption and deployment. I believe there are about a dozen use cases at various stages of the process, including those planned for 2019 and for the future.  

Q: Can you help articulate why is it so important for organizations to get involved?

Will: Da Vinci’s work is leading to universally accepted, repeatable workflow models that will drive patient-centric healthcare. That’s invaluable. For organizations that want to lead in creating better healthcare in the U.S., you can’t get any closer to how the industry wants to and will be transforming workflows and communicating data.

Learn about the latest Da Vinci Project work underway and how you can get involved at http://www.hl7.org/about/davinci/index.cfm

  1. Runyon, Barry. Healthcare Provider CIOs: Shift Interoperability Strategy From Moving Data to Orchestrating Workflow. Gartner, February 25, 2019.