IBM Software to Enhance HealthBridge Beacon Program HIE in Cincinnati

By Brian T. Horowitz  |  Posted 2011-11-21 Print this article Print

title=Widespread Use of Initiate Patient} 

More than 100 health systems in the United States and at least 40 HIEs use Initiate Patient, Cassidy said. That comprises more than 80 percent of the patients in North America, he noted.

On Feb. 21, IBM announced that its Health Integration Framework-which includes Initiate Exchange, Initiate Patient and Initiate Provider-will power an HIE for the nonprofit health system UNC Health Care in Chapel Hill, N.C.

Initiate also forms the backbone for HIEs in states such as Maryland, Michigan, North Dakota and Louisiana, Cassidy said.

After the Beacon period ends, HealthBridge will extend the HIE to include patients with other types of illnesses, according to Hepp.

Although the HealthBridge HIE already manages clinical records for patients, Initiate Patient will allow the company to manage clinical information more effectively, he said.

"These are tools that will give physicians and care extenders much more information to proactively treat patients so that people who are prediabetics don't become full diabetic and so they can more effectively manage care to reduce expensive hospitalizations," Hepp explained.

Using Initiate Patient will enable HealthBridge to reconcile different medical record numbers among different patients, he added.

"We looked at multiple technologies, and IBM had by far the most flexible and extensive toolset to manage patient populations and to be sure we know the correct identification of patients in the region," Hepp explained.  

Brian T. Horowitz is a freelance technology and health writer as well as a copy editor. Brian has worked on the tech beat since 1996 and covered health care IT and rugged mobile computing for eWEEK since 2010. He has contributed to more than 20 publications, including Computer Shopper, Fast Company,, More, NYSE Magazine, Parents,, USA Weekend and, as well as other consumer and trade publications. Brian holds a B.A. from Hofstra University in New York.

Follow him on Twitter: @bthorowitz


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