Microsoft to Power Data Exchange Network for Physicians in Hawaii

Microsoft's Amalga health care data-aggregation platform will provide the foundation for TeamPraxis' physician data network in Hawaii.

Microsoft has announced that its Amalga data-aggregation application will provide the infrastructure for application service provider TeamPraxis' leading physician data network in Hawaii.

Founded in 1992, TeamPraxis offers Web-based ConnxMD practice-management software as well as EHR and workflow applications. Hospitals, insurance companies, pharmacies and laboratories also use the SAAS (software-as-a-service) products.

Amalga gives doctors a single view of a patient's medical history from various providers' databases. The software is used to create HIEs (health information exchanges) to share EHRs (electronic health records).

"Amalga will aggregate patient data stored and hosted by TeamPraxis today in separate EHR databases, enabling physicians to gain a comprehensive view of patient history at the point of care," Nate McLemore, general manager of business development for Microsoft's health solutions group, wrote in an email to eWEEK. "Aggregating the data also will make it easier to submit to the emerging HIEs in Hawaii."

In addition to Amalga, TeamPraxis will use the Microsoft HealthVault Web platform to share medical information with patients and store patient data. HealthVault encrypts patient data while abiding by security protocols of the federal Direct Project.

Amalga will allow more than 1,000 physicians on the TeamPraxis network to access a patient's full medical history online and retrieve patient information from specialists for continuity of care. Using the online TeamPraxis system, doctors can also file claims and develop plans for treatment and order prescriptions.

Doctors will send reminders to patients regarding treatment and prescriptions as well as perform analytics on patient information.

"Microsoft provides a more efficient and robust integration layer as we integrate our physician network with other health care players in the state," Creighton Arita, CEO and president of TeamPraxis, told eWEEK.

In addition, the software should help TeamPraxis abide by HHS (Department of Health and Human Services) rules and incentives on accountability for positive health outcomes, Microsoft reports.

"Powering the TeamPraxis physician information network represents a natural extension of our investment in Amalga and will remain a core area of focus, particularly with the emergence of ACOs," McLemore said.

Microsoft announced its partnership with TeamPraxis on April 19. TeamPraxis also has a partnership with AllScripts, a major EHR provider.

By working with TeamPraxis, Microsoft is able to power a health record database for small practice physicians in addition to large hospitals. "Independent physician practices are the backbone of our health care system, and connecting them is vital to improving care coordination and quality," McLemore said.

Independent physicians are "gatekeepers" for the U.S. health care system, with 60 percent of physician practices holding less than 10 doctors, Arita noted.

But they're also "siloed entities," he said. "A lot of times you're having to repeat your chief complaint, your medical history and it just does not flow from one to another," Arita explained.

"The whole struggle and challenge of health care is how do you reach these small physician practices," he said. The answer, according to Arita: "hooking them up to an exchange, so they feel powered, so they're not losing their practice autonomy."