Sun selected to support CSC-led Connecting for Health team and Northrop Grumman in development of Nationwide Health Information Network

Santa Clara 29 November 2005Sun Microsystems Inc. will work as part of a consortium led by Computer Sciences Corporation and Northrop Grumman Corporation to help support the development of a prototype for a Nationwide Health Information Network architecture. Sun was selected for its expertise in federated network identity management, its successful deployments of service-oriented architectures, and its joint initiatives with Microsoft around interoperability and Internet security. The effort proceeded in conjunction with other contracts awarded by the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on November 10, 2005.

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Designed to help support a secure, standards-compliant framework for the nationwide exchange of electronic health records, this architecture represents an important step in realizing President Bush's vision for an interoperable electronic health record for every American. With an extensive legacy in the health care space, Sun is committed to helping this industry leverage information technology (IT) to power health information networks and bridge the health care digital divide through a wide range of technology offerings and services. As one of the few IT systems members of the Healthcare Information Technology Standards Panel (HITSP), Sun supports the harmonization of consensus-based standards necessary to enable the widespread interoperability of health care information in the United States.

"The Department of Health and Human Services is laying the foundation for a health care infrastructure that can significantly improve patient care and lower costs for all Americans", stated Wayne Owens, Vice President, Healthcare Integration Platforms, Sun Microsystems Inc. "Sun has an extensive track record of expertise in deploying regional and national health information organisations around the world, and we're proud to be working alongside CSC on the development of this critical nationwide network here in the United States."

Leading this effort with technology providers like Sun, CSC plans to build on the health information exchange architecture of the Connecting for Health prototype and demonstrate the feasibility of secure health information exchange among key health care institutions, including hospitals, health plans, physician offices, government agencies and others throughout the United States. The contract, which has one base year and a one-year option, is valued at approximately $7 million to the CSC-led team if the option is exercised.

"Our team is composed of highly qualified organisations and individuals committed to improving the quality of health information and care delivery in the United States", stated Daniel T. Garrett, managing partner of CSC's Global Health Solutions organisation. "We look forward to applying our experience and broad expertise to help the Department of Health and Human Services achieve exceptional results."

Founded in 1959, Computer Sciences Corporation is a global IT services company. CSC's mission is to provide customers in industry and government with solutions crafted to meet their specific challenges and enable them to profit from the advanced use of technology. With approximately 78.000 employees, CSC provides innovative solutions for customers around the world by applying leading technologies and CSC's own advanced capabilities. These include systems design and integration; IT and business process outsourcing; applications software development; Web and application hosting; and management consulting. Headquartered in El Segundo, California, CSC reported revenue of $14,5 billion for the 12 months ended September 30, 2005.

Supporting the national goal of interoperability, integrated networks are being deployed at the regional level and will play a key role in the enablement of nationwide electronic health records. Leveraging Sun's Java Integration Suite, early adopters such as the San Diego County Medical Society (SDCMS) Foundation are leading regional initiatives to intelligently cross-match patient data from disparate points of care into a single patient record across the region.

Stephen Carson, M.D., Chief Medical Officer of the San Diego County Medical Society Foundation, commented: "Establishing a regional network is critical as a vehicle to support the federal goal of interoperability, while reducing medical errors and patient care. We are working with Sun to connect thousands of hospitals and physicians and health care organisations throughout our county to enhance patient safety and quality of care, while establishing the foundation for future connection to the National Health Information Network."

"With the awarding of the national contracts, the Department of Health and Human Services has taken a giant leap forward towards establishing a 21st century health care infrastructure for Americans", stressed Wayne Owens. "We look forward to working with Northrop Grumman as a part of the core team supporting the development of a national infrastructure prototype that will ultimately help to save lives, provide better medical services and slash the cost of health care."

Leading this effort with technology providers like Sun, Northrop Grumman plans to develop a non-proprietary, standards-based open architecture that will leverage and extend the functionality of existing local and regional health information networks, providing a common, scalable approach to national interoperability and information exchange. Northrop Grumman will develop the prototype architecture during a one-year contract that includes one option year. Work on the system will be done in Chantilly, Virginia and Washington, D.C.

Sun has worked with many health care organisations to help enable the secure sharing of information to power health information networks worldwide and to help bridge the health care digital divide. With Sun's powerful platform for developing, deploying and managing composite applications based on a Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA), some of the world's leading health care organisations such as Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, The Cleveland Clinic, The General Medical Services Board of Ireland, U.K. National Health Service (NHS), NSW Health in New Zealand, and the San Diego Medical Society Foundation are using the Sun Java Integration Suite - formerly the SeeBeyond ICAN Suite - to help support health information networks linking payers, employers, hospitals, labs and clinics while providing secure, regulated access to patient data. More news about Sun can be found in the VMW December 2005 article Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts leverages SOA-based suite to help increase efficiencies, reduce costs and deliver improved service.


Leslie Versweyveld

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