Diving into Interoperability at Cambia Grove


In line with Cambia Grove’s goal to connect entrepreneurs and the 5 Points of Health Care™, the Cambia Grove team participates in conferences around the country and hosts programming to align diverse stakeholders.  

At the beginning of April, Cambia Grove hosted a workshop at TechfestNW, a conference that convenes professionals in the Pacific Northwest to showcase startup talent and new, innovative technologies across a variety of industries. In addition to TechfestNW, Dr. Don Rucker, the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC), joined our team for a two-day tour, April 16 and 17, consisting of roundtable discussions, a tech showcase, Fireside Chat and an Under the Boughs discussion. 

TechfestNW Takeaways

A current theme in health care transformation is interoperability and its potential to unlock patient data, empowering consumers within the industry to be at the center of their own care. At TechfestNW, Cambia Grove was excited to bring together a panel to discuss data as an innovation asset, moderated by Cambia Grove Executive Director Maura Little. The panel included:

  • Brian Martin, MD, Founder & CEO, Recentia Health
  • Steven Z. Kassakian, MD, MS, Associate Chief Health Information Officer, OHSU
  • Ahmer Inam, Vice President of Data Science & Advance Analytics, Cambia Health Solutions

The discussion yielded many takeaways including: 

Interoperability: Interoperability will enable the flow of information between systems, yielding greater access to data sets and information.

New technologies: With interoperability will come the need for technologies like artificial intelligence to be implemented. This type of technology will help synthesize data, assisting providers in developing actionable insights which in turn can help reduce physician burnout.

Consumer focus: Keeping the consumer at the center of everything in health care is important, as the cost of making mistakes with data can be very high. As consumer experiences continue to evolve, consumers will be able to challenge the status quo by having access to greater choice and quality of care.

Federal Interoperability Initiatives

After the discussion at TechfestNw, we were fortunate to host Dr. Rucker. Dr. Rucker shared the positive impact that the ONC proposed rule to implement the 21st Century Cures Act could have on patient accessibility, health care transparency and interoperability. Dr. Rucker stated that the law “explicitly says that there shall be no information blocking…that patients control their data and have access to their data.” 

The prospect of this law is exciting for consumers and innovators alike as it has the potential to drive interoperability standards for the health care system in the future. 

Learn more about Dr. Rucker’s visit to the Pacific Northwest in Advisory Panel member Ed Butler’s blog recap of the event and by checking out the full event recording here. Make sure to submit your comment during the open comment period, closing June 3!

What’s Next?

While each of these discussions began to scratch the surface of interoperability and the consumerization of health data, we enjoyed a deeper dive into this topic at our “Interoperability Summit: Empowering Consumers with Data,” June 20-21. Cambia Grove welcomed Christine Bechtel, consumer advocate and Co-founder of X4 Health and Aneesh Chopra, President of CareJourney, as the event emcees. Susannah Fox, former CTO of the U.S. Department for Health & Human Services (HHS) and a Cambia Health Solutions Board of Directors member, was the keynote speaker. 

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