The case for a Health Information Exchange (HIE) in South Africa

The fragmented nature of South Africa’s health system negatively impacts both the cost and quality of healthcare.  This has raised concerns amongst leaders and policymakers alike, including the Competition Commission’s Health Market Inquiry (HMI) panel whose recommendations included the need for innovations that increase efficiencies in healthcare delivery and funding; greater transparency on health outcomes; less fragmentation; and a move towards care coordination.  Aligned to these recommendations, the South African Government also recognises the importance of digitisation in improving access to quality healthcare in its National Digital Health Strategy.  The CareConnect Health Information Exchange (HIE) has been developed to respond to the above imperatives.

Founded jointly by six of the largest private healthcare organisations in the country, Discovery Health, Life Healthcare, Mediclinic, Medscheme, Momentum Health and Netcare (the Founding Members of CareConnect), the HIE enables the sharing of patient health information between authorised organisations, thereby enabling fragmented systems to exchange information.

CareConnect HIE enables the integration of healthcare data from various sources to provide a single online entry point for healthcare providers and funders to access relevant patient information in the interest of improved health quality and outcomes.

It is a condition of participation in the CareConnect HIE, that all participants agree to the Data Use and Reciprocal Support Agreement (DURSA), which establishes the rules of engagement and obligations. This agreement specifies the principles around the sharing of data and the permitted purposes for sharing data. Data security is a key element of the DURSA and each participant is obligated to ensure sufficient mechanisms to ensure the safety of the data.

CareConnect will enable the integration of healthcare data from various sources to provide a single online entry point for healthcare providers and funders to access relevant patient information. CareConnect will facilitate data flows between data providers and data consumers. This means that when required, data will be ‘pulled’ from the data source, i.e the medical scheme/hospital/pathologist/radiologist/healthcare service provider and provided to the healthcare provider, hospital or medical scheme requiring the data.

To securely provide comprehensive health information sharing solutions in Africa that will improve consumer health outcomes, quality, safety, efficiencies, and drive down healthcare costs.
CareConnect provides innovative digital healthcare information exchange solutions to stakeholders in the healthcare sector in South Africa, within a sustainable financial framework.
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About CareConnect

CareConnect as the operator of the HIE, is a registered NPO collectively founded by private healthcare funders and hospital groups for the benefit of patients and other healthcare stakeholders in SA. Initially, CareConnect will operate in the private sector, but ultimately the aim is to encompass the entire South African health system.

The benefits of participating in CareConnect:​

These benefits will have a direct impact on reducing healthcare costs and increasing the quality of healthcare.

The evolution of CareConnect​

  • HIE.ZA Working Group and Colleaga Gartner team explore HIE
  • Founding Members sign MOU to envision a shared Health Information Exchange
  •  Founding Members retain Colleaga / Gartner Team to establish feasibility and desirability of a Health Information Exchange for the SA private health system
  • Founding Members agree on Consensus HIE Roadmap
  • Founding Members and Colleaga/ Gartner Team begin CareConnect High Level Planning Phase
  • CareConnect Operating Model, Vendors and Technology Architecture designed
  • MVP Technical Requirements
  • CareConnect Establishment
  • CareConnect Registration
  • Vendor selection and contracting
  • Pilot Phase – POC
  • Set foundational principles
  • CareConnect operational
  • HIE platform implemented (HealthShare and PI)
  • Use Cases implemented and incorporation of ancillary healthcare providers and associations
  • Enablement of independent players in the SA care continuum
  • Industry wide engagement

CareConnect Values


We engage with all stakeholders transparently, neutrally, and inclusively.


We respond and adapt rapidly to change, in the ever-evolving and dynamic landscape of our stakeholders, the healthcare market, and emerging technologies.


We facilitate state-of-the-art health information exchange services through industry-wide integration of systems and processes.


We operate our business with integrity in a prudent, efficient and financially sustainable manner, applying a continuous improvement approach to everything we do.


We design all aspects of our operations and solutions to ensure confidentiality and appropriate use of data, and to abide by privacy and security regulations.


We create an environment that fosters personal and professional learning, growth and performance excellence for the CareConnect team.
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