Geisinger Health System selects Sun to improve health care through Pennsylvania Regional Health Information Organization

San Diego 13 February 2006Geisinger Health System selected Sun Microsystems Inc. to power several major components of its Regional Health Information Organization (RHIO) in Pennsylvania. The Geisinger RHIO will initially connect three area hospitals, enabling them to electronically share health information and laboratory results, with a planned expansion to up to eight additional health systems within three years. Geisinger's ultimate goal is to join with other statewide RHIOs to form a larger coalition that will eventually connect into the National Health Information Network (NHIN). Regional networks are considered a critical step in developing the NHIN, a primary goal of the United States Department of Health and Human Services and many Congressional leaders.

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"Geisinger's RHIO will be a model for health information exchanges around the country, as more communities are seriously evaluating the time, cost and life-saving benefits of sharing digitized patient information", stated Wayne Owens, vice president, Healthcare Integration Platforms, Sun Microsystems Inc. "Sun believes that access to quality health care is job number one in the Participation Age and that information technology can and will provide revolutionary improvements in the delivery of health care. We are honoured to be working with Geisinger toward this goal."

Geisinger is using the Sun SeeBeyond eGate Integrator and eIndex Single Patient View products to create a Community Master Patient Index (CMPI) for 3,5 million patients in central and northeastern Pennsylvania, reconciling duplicate records to eliminate redundancies and create a single, system-wide patient view. This will provide caregivers in the region with timely access to relevant patient information, helping improve patient safety and care, increase efficiency, reduce costs and expand research, medical management and bio-surveillance capabilities for payers and government and state registries.

"The benefits that we expect this RHIO to create for both doctors and patients are truly exciting both from a patient care and business perspective", stated Frank Richards, chief information officer, Geisinger Health System. "Sharing health information in this way will save lives, and with that as the prize, we are relying on Sun's technology to help us bring this RHIO on-line as quickly and efficiently as possible."

The Geisinger RHIO will be the third health information exchange network to embrace Sun's end-to-end solution for digitizing patient information, with others including the San Diego County Medical Society Foundation and Georgetown University Medical Center.

Through its recent acquisitions of SeeBeyond and StorageTek, and its growing partner community, Sun now offers one of the industry's most comprehensive portfolios designed to improve health care through IT. The Queen's Medical Center, Hawaii's oldest and largest private hospital founded by Queen Emma and King Kamehameha IV, relies on Sun's end-to-end portfolio - including Sun StorEdge systems, Sun Fire servers, professional services and the Solaris Operating System - to power its Care*Link electronic medical record system. The Queen's Medical Center went live with its Care*Link system on January 14, 2006. This integrated system, running on the Sun platform, replaces seven disparate systems that were operating on different hardware platforms.

At the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Conference in San Diego, Sun has been showcasing its health care solutions and sharing real world case studies on customers such as the Queen's Medical Center and Geisinger. Today more than 35 percent of the world's digitally archived data is entrusted to Sun systems, because of the technologies Sun brings to the health care industry, including Data Integration and Middleware Solutions; Smart Storage Solutions; Caregiver Mobility Solutions; and Protected Identity Solutions.

The Sun Java Enterprise System, including everything an enterprise needs to develop and deploy Service-Oriented Architecture and composite applications, serves as the critical infrastructure behind secure health care information exchange and creating RHIO networks. Sun today delivers a rich set of integration capabilities and service-based composite applications specifically tailored for the complex regulatory and privacy-related needs of the health care market. Products on display at HIMSS include:

  • Sun Java Composite Application Platform Suite (CAPS)
  • Sun eIndex Single Patient Identifier
  • Sun Claims Lifecycle Manager
  • Sun iProvider Global Identifier
  • Sun CAPS Secure Messaging

Sun StorageTek storage solutions are designed to handle massive loads of digital data, including medical images and electronic health records. Sun's information lifecycle management (ILM) technology enables customers to reduce cost by placing the right data on the right storage tier at the right time throughout the lifespan of the medical data. Products on display at HIMSS include:

  • Sun Intellistor Data Storage Archive
  • Sun Network Attached Storage
  • Sun SL500 Modular Tape Library System

Patient information needs to be available at the point of care, but it also must be carefully protected. The Sun Ray ultra-thin client allows clinicians to use any application they need at the bedside while keeping confidential information safe and secure in the data centre.

Sun Java System Identity Management Software can help health care organisations empower people to work more efficiently with medical information, and with each other, by providing secure access to patient records and information; producing specialized reports to help demonstrate compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) or other regulatory requirements; securely sharing information across different organisations via federated identity management and Liberty Alliance specifications; enabling "virtual" teams of physicians and clinicians to collaborate on-line in patient care; and allowing consumers to use a single password to access health records and information that may span different systems.

Sharing has always been at the core of Sun's business strategy, operating principle and philosophy. Sun technologies enable broader access in the health care industry and are available today, built upon open standards and designed for interoperability. Sun delivers the technology solutions that can help the health care industry reduce costs and medical errors, as well as improve efficiency and patient care-all key to participation and access to quality health care. More company news is available in the VMW January 2006 article Sun selected to support CSC-led Connecting for Health team and Northrop Grumman in development of Nationwide Health Information Network.


Leslie Versweyveld

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