Doctors and teachers in Miami-Dade County are using Microsoft Amalga, Dynamics and HealthVault to find links between academic records and health histories.
Microsoft has created the
tools for a health information exchange that combines electronic health and
academic records for students in Florida's Miami-Dade County.
Called Children's Health
Education and Economic Resource (CHEER), the service integrates, health,
education and social services data, such as information on foster care, Kevin
Dolan, director of health and human services for Microsoft, told eWEEK.
The Microsoft Amalga health
intelligence platform will power CHEER, and parents will be able to store
children's health data in the Microsoft
personal health portal.
Miami-Dade uses Amalga for
integration and analytics and Microsoft Dynamics CRM for collaboration,
coordination and reporting, Dolan said.
"Some data feeds we'll
put directly into Dynamics, and some we'll pull through Amalga," Dolan
CHEER holds data for 2
million patients in Miami-Dade County, Dolan said.
The database evolved out of
a relationship with Health Choice Network
which adopted Amalga and provides health services for small clinics.
HCN acts like an IT hub by
providing electronic health records (EHRs) and billing data, Dr. Andy Brickman,
executive director of CHEER, told eWEEK.
CHEER will allow teachers
and school nurses to stay up-to-date on students' health situations. Data will
track the relationships between academic issues such as absenteeism, behavior
and academic performance with various health conditions, Jack Hersey, general
manager for U.S. Public Sector Health and Human Services at Microsoft, wrote in
19 blog about the initiative
The health information
exchange (HIE) will provide a platform for telemedicine visits for students in
inner cities and rural areas, according to Hershey.
As far as teachers,
"they don't know everything they need to know about a child to save their
life," said Brickman, who holds a Ph.D. in experimental psychology.
"Amalga gave us the
opportunity to create an interoperable environment in Miami-Dade," he
Data in CHEER will allow
schools to help parents and doctors monitor students' chronic conditions such
as asthma and diabetes. CHEER could also store discharge plans for when
students leave a hospital, Brickman said.
For instance, if a child
missed 10 days of school, doctors and teachers can view data in CHEER to see a
possible correlation between absenteeism and health, Dolan said.
In addition, doctors will be
able to draw on academic data before deciding on medical treatment.
Microsoft recently announced
lineup for its health care IT leadership
with Michael Robinson named
general manager of U.S. Health & Life Sciences and Dr. Dennis Schmuland the
new chief health strategy officer. At the time, Robinson told eWEEK
that combining health and school
data would be an area of focus.
Doctors and teachers would
be able to use CHEER to know which students may not have had a physical or to
research possible connections between dropouts and health conditions, Dolan
said. The database will also provide insight on the social, health and economic
factors keeping kids from going to college, Dolan said.
By using CHEER, doctors and
educators will gain a "holistic view" of children from birth through
graduation, as far as health and the human services children are involved,
Doctors and educators can
use CHEER to check attendance data and test scores and view the information in
the same data set as medical information, Brickman said.
Miami-Dade now has data
dating back to 2010, he noted.
The fourth-largest school
district in the United States, Miami-Dade is also working to incorporate
vaccine data into Amalga from the Florida state immunization registry, Brickman
said. The database will be able to send text reminders to get vaccinations, he
"Not only will it tell
them that a child is due for vaccination, but it will tell them what their
insurance status was," Brickman said.
The database conforms
to guidelines under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA
and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), a federal law
protecting student records.
It will eventually
expand to incorporate data from the rest of Florida, Brickman said. Harris
Interactive is working on an HIE
for the state of Florida.
"CHEER already is on
the HIE backbone in South Florida, and the intent is for it to be on the state
backbone," Brickman said.
In addition, San Diego is
looking to develop HIE technology modeled after Miami-Dade's use of CHEER,