Collaborative Care gathers and presents patients' health data from multiple sources to create a detailed, up-to-date record that can be updated in real time to support clinical and emergency health care decisions.
IBM said Aug. 5 that it has joined up with the Aetna insurance
company's health IT division, ActiveHealth Management, to launch a new
cloud-based patient-records service for physicians and extended-care
Dubbed Collaborative Care, the service gathers and presents patients'
health data from multiple sources to create a detailed, up-to-date
record that can be updated in real time to support clinical and
emergency health care decisions.
Doctors don't always have the updated chart information available when
they need to quickly make patient care decisions; patients often have
to carry their health history information with them from visit to
visit. This service eliminates both of those problems.
"This is one of our first software-as-a-service industry solutions as part of our Blue Cloud initiative
" Rob Merkle, vice president and Health Care Industry leader at IBM's
Global Services, told eWEEK. "This will complement and enhance what
electronic medical record capabilities provide.
"What's interesting here is that IBM is teaming up with Aetna, which
has deep clinical capabilities, and we're taking assets and resources
they have and marrying that together with IBM's technology and
resources to create this system which basically wraps around and
Collaborative Care, in effect, is a health information exchange application and service, Merkle said.
"It becomes a comprehensive view of the individual," Merkle said.
"Doctors can then take this information and use it against health care
best practices. In health care, we call that 'evidence'."
Collaborative Care continuously scans clinical data on patients --
including EMRs, labs, prescriptions, in-patient stays and others --
compares it to recommended guidelines, and sends care alerts to
physicians and patients when it detects an opportunity to improve care
or prevent a medical problem.
The software package combines information from the above sources with
ActiveHealth's evidence-based, clinical-decision support application,
Collaborative Care then delivers the patient records through an IBM
cloud computing platform, which is deployed on a subscription basis.
Custom-designed alerts for doctors
Analytics in the system can produce alerts to doctors about patient needs -- singularly or as a group.
"For example, if you're a doctor with a lot of diabetic patients, and
you want to look at them all at once and see who might require the most
attention at the moment, you can do it in a dashboard-based model with
analytics and reporting capabilities," Merkle said.
The U.S. government recently laid out incentives for health care
providers to change over paper medical records into digital records,
which means that more data than ever will be going online and onto disk
and tape storage. The IBM-ActiveHeath package takes advantage of this
increasing amount of digital health care information to benefit
health care providers, Merkle said.
Sharp Community Medical Group in Southern California will become the
first hospital group to deploy Collaborative Care, Merkle said. The
system will be rolled out in stages during the next 12 months.
"The current state of medicine today is one of paper records,
fragmentation and lack of patient information at the right location and
at the right time," said John Jenrette, CEO of Sharp Community Medical
Group. "Unfortunately, this is medicine's current state in most
organizations and physicians' offices. The patient is not engaged in
their own health care and not connected to their clinical information
and doctors in an effective manner.
"The work we are undertaking will create a system that is
patient-centric. It will provide the connection among primary care
physicians, specialty physicians, hospitals and patients to achieve
improved clinical outcomes while reducing costs."