Microsoft Amalga data-aggregation software and CSC's practice management will allow 9.4 million people to access Chicago's health-information network.
Microsoft, IT integrator and
health-data-exchange software developer HealthUnity have announced they will
contribute the technology and practice management for the Metropolitan Chicago
Healthcare Council's MetroChicago Health Information Network.
Founded in 1935, MCHC
is a membership and service
association of more than 150 hospitals and health care organizations in the
greater metropolitan Chicago area.
Serving 9.4 million people,
66 hospitals and major outpatient care organizations, the HIE (health-information
exchange) is expected to be the largest metropolitan health-data exchange in
the United States. HIEs enable physicians to view and share EHRs (electronic
health records) from various databases.
"The HIE will be one of
the largest in the country and will allow our region's health care market to
improve efficiency by creating a network where health information flows with
the patient, no matter where care is received," Mary Anne Kelly, vice
president of MCHC, said in a statement.
Local Chicago hospitals have
been enthusiastic about the project, according to Kelly.
"Seventy percent of
hospitals in the Chicago metro area have already become founding members of the
HIE, which is a testament to area health care organizations' stalwart
commitment to improving quality and patient safety," Kelly said.
Like the physician data
network Microsoft recently
announced for Hawaii
, the Chicago HIE, announced April 25, will have the
Microsoft Amalga data-aggregation platform at its core.
Amalga allows doctors to see
a unified view of a patient's medical history from various providers' databases
at the time of care. The software is used to create HIEs to share EHRs.
"As the industry
continues to focus on delivering value-better care at the same, or lower, costs-the
flow of data across organizational boundaries and the ability to analyze and
report on data across patient populations are increasingly important,"
Peter Neupert, corporate vice president of the health-solutions group at
Microsoft, said in a statement. "MCHC is leading its health care provider
members to adopt technologies that can help drive value throughout the care-delivery
process, enabling a healthier population."
capabilities of Amalga will be key to providing the information needed to
improving continuity of patient care, Robert Reese, CSC's North America partner
and managing director for health care delivery, told eWEEK.
CSC will manage the
day-to-day operations of the HIE, including hosting, tech support, patient
privacy and proprietary security capabilities. In addition, CSC will build on
its experience with the New England Health Exchange network.
Meanwhile, with its document
exchange software, HIE software provider HealthUnity
will be the "traffic controller" for the data, Reese said.
The goal of the project is
to allow doctors to better coordinate care by sharing test results and
information on condition, medication and allergies from other providers within
the region. Having this information could save lives in a medical emergency
when patients may not be able to share this information themselves.
With the Chicago HIE,
providers will also be able to monitor emerging outbreaks of influenza or other
rather than the government will fund the HIE, according to Microsoft.
Other HIEs have been set up
recently by GE
Healthcare in Pennsylvania, Harris in Florida and Hewlett-Packard in Texas