Santa Barbara County Care Data Exchange and CareScience announce next step in roll-out of Care Data Exchange solution

Philadelphia 14 February 2005The Santa Barbara County Care Data Exchange Inc., a non-profit community organisation created to enable regional health information sharing within Santa Barbara County, and CareScience, a division of Quovadx Inc. providing care management, clinical analysis and regional health information data sharing solutions for hospitals and health care systems, have successfully completed system user-acceptance testing of the Santa Barbara County Care Data Exchange solution in Santa Barbara County, California and imminent plans for a phased roll-out to the community.


The Care Data Exchange solution (CDE) is the first peer-to-peer clinical data exchange designed to enable health care providers to securely share clinical data at the point-of-care. The CDE was developed by CareScience in collaboration with the Santa Barbara County Care Data Exchange project and the California HealthCare Foundation, which provided funding for the project.

"This is a significant milestone in a pioneering effort", stated Sam Karp, chief programme officer for the California HealthCare Foundation. "Santa Barbara County will become the first community in the United States to deploy a secure method for sharing clinical information across all of the health care institutions in the community. Over time, we expect this effort to significantly improve the quality, safety and efficiency of health care delivery for the residents of Santa Barbara, while serving as an operating model for the rest of the country."

The CDE uses peer-to-peer technology with a central, "smart index" and a federated data model to access clinical results from multiple data providers and IT systems within participating health care organisations across Santa Barbara County. The system provides secure data access without using a central data repository. Using the CDE, authorized users within the network can access a "patient-centric" view of clinical and administrative results, including patient demographics, laboratory, pharmacy data, radiology, medical records and transcription, as well as eligibility and referral information.

"We are eager to begin the roll-out of the CDE, taking the next step forward in bringing our ultimate vision of a fully-connected health care community to the patients and health care providers in our region", stated Michael Skinner, executive director, Santa Barbara County Care Data Exchange Inc. "We recently reached a significant milestone in the process by successfully completing key portions of user acceptance testing, signifying our readiness to begin deployment. We are anxious to see the impact of the system in full use and to realize the potential we believe will result from the hard work that went into making this remarkable vision a reality."

The project has recently completed three phases of User Acceptance Testing (UAT), which included:

  • Phase I: security, access control and architecture testing to confirm the safe, secure and reliable use of the system,
  • Phase II: system auditing to verify completeness and accuracy of data and its presentation,
  • Phase III: physician use testing during their daily office work flow, to confirm reliability and ease of use of the system.

In Santa Barbara County, and in many communities nationwide, a heavy reliance on paper-based medical records, combined with disparate, enterprise-specific legacy systems, has prevented easy access to clinical patient records among various health care institutions and providers within the medical community. In support of Regional Health Information Organizations (RHIOs), the CDE solution combines strategy, implementation, and operational services with technological infrastructure, to facilitate the development, governance and operation of community-based health data sharing initiatives.

"The CDE was envisioned to address what is now a well-accepted and growing demand for interoperability between competing health care providers' underlying IT infrastructure", stated Ronald A. Paulus, M.D., chief health care officer, Quovadx Inc. "Working hand-in-hand with the Santa Barbara health care community and with the support of the California Healthcare Foundation, we have implemented a system with the ultimate goal of reducing medical errors, preventing unnecessary hospital admissions and ambulatory visits and minimizing duplicate testing while easing providers' access to the information they need. We are eager to observe and document the impact of this capability as the rollout progresses."

"At Quovadx, we see reliable access to clinical data at the point-of-care as a cornerstone of any practical strategy to improve quality and efficiency in health care delivery", stated Harvey A. Wagner, chief executive officer, Quovadx Inc. "It is heartening to note that numerous national experts have proposed a model for the National Health Information Network that is very similar to the Santa Barbara Care Data Exchange system and we hope to continue to contribute to these local and national efforts going forward. We believe that the CDE solution, as well as other core QUOVADX interoperability technologies designed specifically for health care, underscore our support of the goals established by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology's strategic framework and further establish our commitment to innovation in health care IT."

The Santa Barbara County Care Data Exchange Inc. (SBCCDE) is funded in part through a contract with the Foundation for eHealth Initiative (FeHI) and their co-operative agreement with HRSA, Office for the Advancement for Telehealth (HRSA/OAT). It is comprised of nine local health care organisations including the Sansum-Santa Barbara Medical Foundation Clinic, the Santa Barbara Regional Health Authority, a regional health plan, the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department, three community hospital systems and regional laboratory and pharmacy data providers.

The Santa Barbara County Care Data Exchange Inc. was created in September 1999. Development of the organisation was supported in part by the California HealthCare Foundation. In February 2004 the SBCCDE incorporated as an independent, non-profit organisation, governed by a board of directors comprised of individuals from participating organisations.

CareScience, a division of Quovadx Inc., is a provider of care management services and analytical solutions to hospitals and health systems, and a pioneer in community-wide clinical data exchange. CareScience supplies the people and technology to ensure that high-quality care is delivered, throughout the health care system, through clinical data access and clinical process transformation.

Quovadx Inc., a global software and services firm based in Englewood, Colorado, has helped more than 20.000 enterprise customers worldwide develop, extend and integrate applications based on open standards. Quovadx is comprised of three divisions, the Integration Solutions division, which offers vertically specific solutions to improve processes and leverage existing technology systems; the CareScience division, which provides care management services and analytical solutions to hospitals and health systems and is a pioneer in community-wide clinical data exchange; and the Rogue Wave Software division, which provides reusable software components and services that facilitate application development. Quovadx serves companies in health care, financial services, telecommunications and the public sector. Quovadx operates internationally with more than 450 employees.

Leslie Versweyveld

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