Oracle Enhances HIE Platform, Teams Up with Canadian EHR Provider

Oracle adds Health Sciences Information Manager to its health information exchange to simplify data management and improve privacy.

Oracle has announced some additions to its HIE, or health information exchange, to improve interoperability of health information and boost data management and privacy.

Called Oracle Health Information Exchange, the platform allows health care companies and government organizations to share patient data while lowering costs and boosting revenues, Oracle reports. By making the platform scalable and secure, Oracle simplifies the process of deploying an HIE, according to the company.

With health care organizations integrating data from multiple health record databases, security is a key concern, according to Neil de Crescenzo, senior vice president and general manager for Oracle Health Sciences.

"Oracle Health Information Exchange helps organizations move beyond these challenges-speeding time to value and optimizing the secure exchange of electronic health information with an extensible, open suite of solutions designed to work together out of the box and running on a robust, reliable and secure technology infrastructure," de Crescenzo said in a statement.

To increase compatibility with other health-record databases, Oracle has added support for the federal Connect and IHE (Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise) specifications.

Connect is an open-source application for setting up an HIE, while IHE is an information-exchange standard based on DICOM (Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine) and HL7 (Health Level Seven International).

The Oracle HIE platform is built on Oracle's Fusion middleware as well as other applications in its portfolio.

Along with Oracle Enterprise Healthcare Analytics, health care professionals can use data in the interoperable HIE to improve the quality and effectiveness of care while making the organization's operations more efficient.

"Empowering health care providers with accurate and complete patient information when and where it is needed can have a tremendous impact on improving quality of care and patient outcomes-while also helping to drive down health care delivery costs," de Crescenzo said.

A new component to the Oracle HIE platform is the Oracle Health Sciences Information Manager, an open-standard application that simplifies data management, improves data privacy and security, and allows for analysis and auditing for regulatory compliance, Oracle reports.

Using the interoperable Information Manager, health care practices can access data from separate databases.

In addition, with the preconfigured software images of the Oracle VM Template, Information Manager reduces the cost and time of typical HIE software installations, Oracle reports.

It also integrates data privacy and security in a single location while streamlining compliance with standards, according to de Crescenzo.

Information Manager includes the Oracle Health Sciences Health Policy Engine, which automates the management of information access to eliminate human error.

The Oracle HIE platform also adds Health Sciences Information Gateway, which provides secure, policy-based communications for health data traveling over the Internet.

Meanwhile, the HIE's Healthcare Master Person Index provides a single view of data on a patient or clinician within a health care organization or HIE.

Oracle announced the new offerings at the HIMSS11 (Health Information Management and Systems Society 2011) conference in Orlando, Fla., Feb. 21.

On Feb. 14, Oracle introduced a new application for the health care supply chain, called OPSCA (Oracle Healthcare Provider Supply Chain Analytics).

In another announcement at HIMSS, Oracle said leading Canadian EHR provider Wolf Medical Systems would implement its Sun Ray Clients as part of Wolf's virtualization strategy. Wolf expects the Sun Ray tool to improve doctors' time with patients. Sun Ray Clients' smart-card readers will bring doctors portable "right-where-you-left-off" capabilities when accessing patient records.

"The security, simplicity and efficiency of Oracle's Sun Ray Clients help our customers save valuable time and allow them to focus on delivering the best possible patient care," Dr. Brendan Byrne, president and CEO of Wolf Medical Systems, said in a statement.

Sun Ray clients will give caregivers that use Wolf applications extra mobility along with security, according to Marc Perlman, Oracle's global vice president for health care and life sciences.

"With Oracle's Sun Ray Clients and Oracle's virtual desktop solutions, health care providers are gaining immediate role-based, secure access to the information they need to provide patients with the best care possible," Perlman said in a statement.