IBM software supports Shared Health's mission to improve patient care through better access to health care data

Armonk 18 August 2008Shared Health, a public/private Health Information Exchange (HIE) in the United States, is using IBM InfoSphere software and services to power its newly-launched Clinical Xchange data exchange platform. Shared Health Clinical Xchange, built on IBM's information integration software, improves health care clinicians' access to clinical information, helping them operate more efficiently and deliver better patient care. The IBM software enables a Web-based system that supports millions of patients by merging key clinical data with administrative data from numerous sources and formats.

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Information from Clinical Xchange can be accessed on demand in a secure manner by patients and health care providers. Whether a patient visits a primary care provider, specialist, or an emergency department, Shared Health makes this important patient information available to accelerate assessment, diagnosis and treatment.

"We're in the business of integrating health care data and translating that data into actionable information", stated Kevin Janes, Shared Health's Senior Solution Architect. "We chose IBM's InfoSphere software because it provides the scalable, robust integration that we need to achieve our goals and deliver immediate value to our customers."

Underpinning Clinical Xchange is the Shared Health Clinical Health Record, which maintains a comprehensive view of a patient's medical history, supported by Shared Health's data warehouse. These information resources are populated using the IBM InfoSphere Information Server software platform, creating a common metadata repository that helps Shared Health reuse information, ensure data governance and develop new services more efficiently.

Information Server helps staff understand the structure, content and quality of data sources to uncover missing, inaccurate and inconsistent data at the start of each data integration project. Shared Health then collects, integrates and transforms data from its partners and makes it available to providers. The IBM software also helps Shared Health standardize the format of data such as names, addresses and phone numbers while matching together data from across sources, to display a single complete record in a unified format regardless of the sources. Additionally, the software's common metadata foundation allows Shared Health to share information collaboratively between business analysts and code developers to reduce project cycles and improve business results.

Information Server's ability to execute multiple processes in parallel has also enabled Shared Health's IT staff to perform data analysis on an entire database table consisting of millions of rows and hundreds of columns in less than two hours. Previously, this would have taken more than 24 hours to accomplish. Shared Health's system is hosted at an IBM data centre operated by IBM Global Technology Services.

"In the wake of HIPAA, it's critical to our business to know that data is secure and always available", Kevin Janes stated. "The IBM data centre provides the stringent security and disaster recovery features we need to protect patient data and make it available to providers when they need it."

The combination of IBM software and services supports Shared Health's use of information to improve patient care by combining and reconciling information from various applications and sources. This use of information is a focus of IBM's cross-company Information on Demand business strategy that enables organisations like Shared Health to use its information assets more effectively.

Increased information flow helps to better incorporate disparate internal and external information sources, providing a seamless flow of information regardless of format, platform or location. IBM InfoSphere software furthers this approach by delivering trusted business information quickly and in a context appropriate to the people, applications and business processes that rely on it. More company news is available in the VMW August 2008 article First-of-a-Kind IBM technology to help doctors care for premature babies.


Leslie Versweyveld

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