Interoperability | 2 MIN READ

How One Small Independent Practice Used Interoperability to Change a Massive Health System

Sue Feury

Seamless clinical collaboration across care settings — it is one of the keys to success in the transition to value-based care.  But many find it elusive…even the giants.

In collaboration with Virence Health, Pete Barker, MD of The Family Doctors, an independent practice of 9 Family Physicians and 5 Nurse Practitioners in Swampscott, Massachusetts is paving the way for small and large practices across the country. Dr. Barker is credited with helping to bring state-of-the-art interoperability technology not only to his practice, but also to one of the largest health systems in Massachusetts.

What is the technology? It’s called Hospital Connect, and it allows our Virence Health customers to seamlessly integrate clinical data from practices and hospitals using our or other vendors’ electronic medical records (EMRs) into our providers’ native workflow.  It leverages the Carequality Interoperability Framework. Hospital Connect allows The Family Doctors to continue functioning with good interoperability at a high clinical level in a medical community that has a variety of EMRs.

Dr. Barker said there are three common scenarios practices of all sizes face that this this new capability helps resolve:


  • Seeing an existing patient and learning that important new information is in someone else’s system. Wouldn’t it be great to have that information right now, before the patient leaves?
  • Seeing a new patient with a long, complicated medical history. Wouldn’t it be great to bring the problems, medications, and allergies directly onto your problem, medication, and allergy lists instead of re-entering data? Wouldn’t it be great to bring the preventative services and last note directly into your system?
  • Your patient is seen in the ED after hours. Wouldn’t it be helpful for the hospital to have access to the latest lab results, problems, medications, and allergies in real-time?


Both Dr. Barker and executives from the large health system noted that this interoperability creates the potential for higher patient confidence in the provider, a more streamlined experience for patients, reduced total medical expense, and, most importantly, enhanced clinical outcomes as a result of improved collaboration.

In the words of Dr. Barker, “It’s a game-changer.” Coming from someone in the heart of New England, that’s high praise.

Want to learn more about how seamless integration of clinical data into your native workflow can help your practice succeed in value-based care? Read our eBook.