Adara Looks to Expand Health Care Interoperability With Virtualization

Networking vendor Adara is branching out beyond government IT further into health care to allow hospitals to provide end-to-end compatibility for patient data.

Adara Networks, a vendor that has provided IT services to the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs, is targeting the health care space with its end-to-end virtualization offerings.

The company manufactures enterprise service buses, which allow compatibility among software applications in a service-oriented architecture (SOA) and lead to interoperability for electronic health records (EHRs).

A major trend to watch in health care, virtualization could help health care organizations achieve government requirements such as moving to the International Statistical Classification of Diseases 10 (ICD 10) diagnosis code for medical claims, according to Adara CEO Eric Johnson.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) requires that all medical claims include ICD-10 codes instead of ICD-9 beginning Oct. 1, 2013.

Adara provides virtualization services to Hospital Corporation of America (HCA), a major health care system in Nashville, Tenn., which is a growing area for health care IT.

HCA uses Adara's Taurus Series Secure Communication Gateway (SCG), which provides transparent deployment and automation as well as interoperability for both secure and nonsecure communication protocols.

Meanwhile, the Orion Series SOA-based platform enables EHR databases in hospitals to be compatible. The Echo Series platform allows companies to create new software applications and view EHRs on a virtual platform.

Adara also helps health care organizations prioritize network traffic and enable on-demand scalability.

Through virtualization, the health care industry can achieve interoperability similar to that of the financial industry, according to Johnson.

"The way data center virtualization helps is to have a totality of information available for the delivery of patient care," Johnson told eWEEK. "We need to make many resources look and feel like one health care system."

Virtualization can allow for a total exchange of data among all physicians a patient may see, along with easier sharing of medical records and images. With total sharing of information, vital tests won't get missed, Johnson suggested.

"Subsets of information usually will result in suboptimal care-things like adverse events," Johnson said. "When it's not a totality system, patients get improperly diagnosed or get diagnosed over a protracted period, costs of delivering health care go up, and patient health care goes down."

On Sept. 28, Imprivata released a report, "2011 Virtualization Trends in Healthcare," revealing that the health care industry is likely to lead in desktop virtualization adoption over the next year.

In a virtualized infrastructure, multiple health care storage resources will appear like one resource, Johnson said.

"We need to have it at the server level, the actual machine level," he explained. "Each of those machines has to look and feel like one large computing and computational storage resource."

Through a partnership with distributor Tech Data, Adara virtualizes health care platforms from multiple vendors, including EHR applications and picture archiving and communication systems (PACS), along with enterprise service buses and virtual machines from companies such as VMware.

VMware's Sphere and View virtual desktop infrastructure runs off of Dell's Mobile Clinical Computing platform as well as Meditech's EHR applications. Mobile Clinical Computing allows doctors to run clinical applications on tablets such as the Apple iPad or Dell Streak tablet in a secure, virtual environment.

Virtualization allows health care organizations to focus more on care than on making multiple databases work together, according to Johnson.

"The systems work seamlessly together and talk seamlessly together with security and access controls, so when the doctor sits down, all the information from all the data centers is virtualized information," Johnson said.