Search to learn about InterSystems products and solutions, career opportunities, and more. Results include content from our developer community, product documentation and education websites in addition to

eHealth Exchange Leverages Interoperability During the Pandemic


The eHealth Exchange active in all 50 states is the oldest and largest national health information network in the U.S.

Through its “one connection-to-many” model, eHealth Exchange is the principal network that connects federal agencies and non-federal organizations, including over 75% of U.S. hospitals and tens of thousands of clinics, to share patient records to better treat patients and coordinate care. The eHealth Exchange also supports public health reporting, quality reporting, and disability and insurance determinations.

eHealth Exchange leverages InterSystems HealthShare™ Managed Solutions to power its information exchange, scale its network and introduce additional services such as push notifications and discrete data-level queries using HL7 Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR®).

0:00 / 0:00
Video Companion

Broadcast Queries

One such service known as “Broadcast Queries” allows a participant to search for patient data across all or a group of the eHealth Exchange participants with one request.

This capability, while key to informed patient care for eHealth Exchange participants on an average day, has been especially valuable during the COVID-19 pandemic, where eHealth Exchange has been instrumental in providing access to patient history and records that aren’t always available or otherwise known, and are sometimes needed urgently.

Patient Unified Lookup System for Emergencies (PULSE)

Another example is the Patient Unified Lookup System for Emergencies (PULSE), a nationwide health IT disaster response platform. With its eHealth Exchange connection, authorized, volunteer clinicians in makeshift “pop-up” clinics and elsewhere can use PULSE to retrieve detailed patient medical records for more informed care.

At a time when seconds and minutes matter, the eHealth Exchange and PULSE access provides information critical to patient care through a nimble, easy to understand system with access to patient health data (e.g., medications a patient is taking) from traditional EHRs. This platform is now being leveraged by public health agencies as part of a coordinated pandemic response.

Access to Advance Directive Documents

Another enhancement eHealth Exchange has enabled during the pandemic — and which it plans to continue after — is access to patients’ advance directive documents, across U.S. health systems and temporary hospitals.

While personal health care goals have always been important, this information is even more critical today when hospitals and other care settings find they may need to restrict visitor access, leaving patients without advocates in the room and potentially unable to speak for themselves.

Digital access can be vital given isolation and contamination fears. Hospitals, health systems, and others treating patients can query MyDirectives (listed in the eHealth Exchange directory as ADVault/MyDirectives), an eHealth Exchange network participant.

If a patient has an advance care planning document on file, it will be pulled into EHRs to empower care givers with information about treatment preferences and/or end-of-life wishes.

eHealth Exchange Executive Director Jay Nakashima recently shared his views on how the pandemic has further exposed the need for increased interoperability, and how it can ensure better patient care and reduce costs for our Healthy Data Podcast.

Find out more at

This story originally appeared the May 29, 2020 – HealthShare Connections News Flash No.2: COVID-19 Pandemic newsletter

Other Success Stories You Might Like

May 06, 2022
2 older doctors wearing masks looking at a tablet
Matching inpatient and outpatient records with HealthShare Patient Index enabled a single view of patient data, joint ventures with other healthcare organizations, and better information flow.
Dec 07, 2021
Physician pointing to tablet screen
The Chief Medical Officer at a major west-coast health plan in the U.S. asked for complete visibility into who’s in the hospital at any given moment. Given the work the health plan was already doing with InterSystems and health information exchange, the director of corporate data and analytics answered confidently, “Yes, we can do that.” “Can you do it in six months?” the CMO asked. The reply? Also affirmative.
Nov 23, 2021
Hospital Doctor With Digital Tablet Talks To Male Patient
Matching inpatient and outpatient records with HealthShare Patient Index enabled a single view of patient data, joint ventures with other healthcare organizations, and better information flow.
Nov 23, 2021
group of doctors looking at images
When Hunterdon Healthcare joined forces with a larger neighboring health system, they knew they had the opportunity to lower costs and improve care for patients in western New Jersey. The two organizations opened a collaborative radiology imaging center that promised to cut wait times and bring high-quality services to more patients in their shared community.
Nov 23, 2021
mom and grown daughter looking at tablet on the couch
With a coverage area that spans 75 Texas counties, 40 Louisiana parishes, and more than 15 million patients, Greater Houston Healthconnect (GHH) is one of the largest health information exchanges (HIEs) in the United States. Such a broad network means there’s never a shortage of data.
Jun 21, 2021
woman using laptop and tablet
At Baystate Health in western Massachusetts, they have a phrase for when innovation works behind the scenes to help patients: “Things are automagically happening.”

Take The Next Step

We’d love to talk. Fill in some details and we’ll be in touch.
*Required Fields
Highlighted fields are required
*Required Fields
Highlighted fields are required
** By selecting yes, you give consent to be contacted for news, updates and other marketing purposes related to existing and future InterSystems products and events. In addition, you consent to your business contact information being entered into our CRM solution that is hosted in the United States, but maintained consistent with applicable data protection laws.