SOURCE: IBM

January 23, 2007 15:15 ET

IBM Propels Nationwide Health Information Network

Secure and Interoperable System Poised to Deliver High-Quality Healthcare for Consumers, Clinicians and Move the Nation Toward Electronic Health Records

ARMONK, NY and WASHINGTON, DC -- (MARKET WIRE) -- January 23, 2007 -- IBM (NYSE: IBM) today unveiled its technology foundation for the Nationwide Health Information Network (NHIN) that enables secure access to healthcare data and real time information sharing and exchange of healthcare data among physicians, patients, hospitals, laboratories and pharmacies, regardless of where the medical data is located.

Under contract to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), IBM has developed a standards-based system, based on a service oriented architecture (SOA) to connect information, that allows for a secure nationwide healthcare information exchange across widely dispersed healthcare communities.

The IBM solution brings patients and clinicians one step closer to electronic medical records and a more efficient, flexible and cost effective healthcare delivery system. Additionally, the IBM NHIN solution also provides a future, flexible roadmap for insurance companies, governmental regulatory agencies and other healthcare related organizations and researchers to have the ability to access and exchange pertinent health information.

IBM's NHIN prototype is installed and operational in three healthcare marketplaces which allows seven hospitals and 24 physicians located in Research Triangle/Pinehurst, N.C.; Guilford and Rockingham Counties, N.C./Danville, VA. and Mid-Hudson Valley, New York to securely access and exchange medical and personal health data, regardless of underlying applications and locations of data. Participating hospitals within the respective regions include Duke University Health System, FirstHealth of the Carolinas; Morehead Memorial Hospital, Moses Cone Health System; and Vassar Brothers Medical Center, Kingston Hospital and St. Francis Hospital.

"The ability to access, share and review health information electronically, including lab data and medication history, across different regions, represents a true milestone for patients and physicians," said W. Holt Anderson, Executive Director, North Carolina Healthcare Information & Communications Alliance (NCHICA). "Working with IBM on this prototype opportunity is helping to transform the healthcare delivery system in our region and has the potential to bring new levels of efficiency and quality care to our communities."

Central to the IBM NHIN prototype effort is the use of important interoperability standards for healthcare published by the Health Information Technology Standards Panel (HITSP), key SOA interoperability principles and advanced data management algorithms developed by IBM scientists. In addition, IBM software and IBM's Health Information Exchange, used to collect and share health data electronically from an exchange platform, will help physicians access and view a patient's electronic medical records even if those records originate from disparate systems in multiple locations. Also, the use of the IHE Framework (Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise) sponsored by the Electronic Records Vendors Association and the Health Information Management Systems Society (HIMSS) played a major factor in allowing participants to support this initiative.

IBM continues to demonstrate its commitment to foster innovation and collaboration in the healthcare and life sciences industries by working with a variety of business partners and other organizations during development of the NHIN Prototype Architecture who contributed specific applications and technology around key components including:

--  EMPI (Enterprise Master Patient Index) :  In order to help accurately
    match and identify patient records across communities and scale to handle
    large quantities of patient data in the NHIN,  IBM worked with Initiate
    Systems and its Initiate Identity Hub ™  software.
--  Electronic Medical Records:  Allscripts "Touchworks,"  GE Healthcare
    Centricity®,  HealthVision, McKesson "HorizonWP® Physician Portal,"
    MEDITECH, openEMR and Duke University's Clinical Data Repository were used
    in the EMR component of NHIN.
--  Personal Health Records:  IBM worked with CapMed, a Division of Bio-
    Imaging Technologies, Inc. who designed a  personal health management
    solution for the NHIN prototype to address patient privacy concerns.
--  Pharmacy Network: IBM teamed with SureScripts, operators of the
    Pharmacy Health Information Exchange ™ that facilitates the electronic
    transmission of prescription information between physicians and pharmacists
    and provides access to life-saving information about patients during
    emergencies or routine care.
    
In addition, IBM worked with CTIS, Inc. to host the prototype environments for some of the healthcare marketplaces and to provide managed services.

IBM will demonstrate its prototype NHIN Architecture during The Third Nationwide Health Information Network forum to be held Jan. 25 - 26 in Washington D.C. This demonstration will show the first significant live data sharing between and across both the local health care markets and major vendor products. The demonstration will show how patients can create and share their personal health information through use of a personal health record; how physicians and clinicians may access and exchange patient and lab data electronically; and how public health monitoring may be streamlined through the use of de-identified data.

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