Northern Arizona Healthcare will begin using CommonWell Health Alliance™ services to advance interoperability

KANSAS CITY, Mo. and FLAGSTAFF, Ariz., April 9, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Northern Arizona Healthcare (NAH), the largest health care organization in Northern and Central Arizona, announced today it signed up to use CommonWell Health Alliance™ services to enable health care providers to see patient health data from outside organizations within its Cerner electronic health record (EHR). Patients who receive care at its facilities will be able to give their doctors and nurses access to medical records from outside health care organizations that participate in CommonWell.

"Encouraging our patients to be part of their own treatment is central to what we do. By using CommonWell services, we give our patients another opportunity to be empowered participants in their care," said Marilynn Black, NAH chief information officer.

By offering CommonWell services to its patients, NAH is breaking through organizational and technological boundaries to advance interoperability and help patients give their care providers a more complete picture of their medical history. CommonWell services are expected to be live in May.

"Northern Arizona Healthcare is helping lead the charge for interoperability across health care," said Bob Robke, CommonWell treasurer and Cerner vice president of Network Services. "Our organizations share a common belief that every person's medical record should follow them, regardless of where they receive medical treatment or the type of EHR system that houses their records."

CommonWell was founded by a group of health care IT suppliers committed to advancing interoperability by allowing different systems to work together in order to share patient health data with their care providers. The services offered by CommonWell address four of the key challenges in health care interoperability:
  • Patient identification and linking – Assist health IT suppliers to more quickly and accurately identify patients as they transition through care facilities
  • Record locator and retrieval – Help providers locate and access their patient records, regardless of where the encounter occurred, by providing a "virtual table of contents" that documents available data from each encounter location
  • Patient access, privacy and consent management – Expected future capabilities include a patient-authorized means to simplify management of data sharing consents and authorizations
  • Trusted data access – Provide authentication and auditing services that facilitate secure data sharing among member systems

Interoperability in health care enables organizations to share patient information regardless of organizational, geographic or technological boundaries. When people can securely share important medical information with providers, they can help improve care quality by giving providers a more complete picture of their medical history.

About Northern Arizona Healthcare

Northern Arizona Healthcare provides healthcare services through Flagstaff Medical Center, Verde Valley Medical Center, Cancer Centers of Northern Arizona Healthcare, Fit Kids of Arizona, Guardian Air, Heart & Vascular Center of Northern Arizona, Northern Arizona Homecare and Hospice, Team Health and Verde Valley Medical Clinic. The system provides the only Level I Trauma Center and Pediatric Intensive Care Unit north of Phoenix.

Northern Arizona Healthcare serves almost one half of the state and handles more than 150,000 patient visits each year. The organization employs close to 3,000 staff and has nearly 300 physicians on its active medical staff. As a nonprofit healthcare system, Northern Arizona Healthcare is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors.

For more information on Northern Arizona Healthcare, visit

About CommonWell Health Alliance

CommonWell Health Alliance is a not-for-profit trade association of health IT companies working together to create universal access to health care data. The Alliance is open to all organizations that are committed to making patient's data available to providers regardless of where care occurs. Alliance members support the belief that provider access to this data must be built into health information technologies at a reasonable cost for use by a broad range of health care providers and the populations and people they serve.

To learn more about CommonWell Health Alliance, please visit, and read CommonWell Community blog. Also follow CommonWell on Twitter at @CommonWell, join us on CommonWell's LinkedIn page, and like CommonWell's Facebook page.

CommonWell Health Alliance and the CommonWell logo are licensed trademarks of CommonWell Health Alliance in the U.S. and other jurisdictions.

About Cerner

Cerner's health information technologies connect people, information and systems at more than 18,000 facilities worldwide. Recognized for innovation, Cerner solutions assist clinicians in making care decisions and enable organizations to manage the health of populations. The company also offers an integrated clinical and financial system to help health care organizations manage revenue, as well as a wide range of services to support clients' clinical, financial and operational needs. Cerner's mission is to contribute to the improvement of health care delivery and the health of communities. On February 2, 2015, Cerner Corporation acquired substantially all of the assets, and assumed certain liabilities, of the Siemens Health Services business from Siemens AG. Nasdaq: CERN. For more information about Cerner, visit, read our blog at, connect with us on Twitter at and on Facebook at

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CONTACT: Media Contacts:                  Cerner Corp.:         Angela Vogen                  Circle Health:         Starla Collins                  CommonWell Health Alliance:         Berit Mansour

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