IBM to acquire Initiate Systems

Armonk 03 February 2010IBM has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Initiate Systems, a market expert in data integrity software for information sharing among health care and government organisations. Initiate's software helps health care clients work more intelligently and efficiently with timely access to patient and clinical data. It also enables governments to share information across multiple agencies to better serve citizens. Initiate Systems is a privately held company based in Chicago, Illinois and marks the 30th acquisition IBM has made to advance its capabilities in information and analytics. Financial details were not disclosed.


Health care organisations and governments around the world today are embarking on new initiatives to improve health care and citizen safety. In health care, this means finding ways to simultaneously improve health outcomes and efficiency of care. In government, this means providing better services to citizens in a more cost-effective manner by combining information from multiple agencies such as child welfare and veterans' programmes.

A key requirement for all such initiatives is proper management and delivery of trusted and accurate information. With the stimulus funding that is being invested around the globe, the number of these transformational projects is accelerating.

In health care, hospitals, integrated delivery networks, insurers and governments are seeking to create systems that share a consistent view of all critical information as a means of improving both patient health and efficiency. Bringing together data from separate systems managed by hospitals, doctors' offices and payers is a daunting task. Initiate has helped clients meet this challenge at more than 2400 health care sites, over 40 health information exchanges and multiple government health systems around the world.

The software speeds the adoption and exchange of electronic medical records. With easier access to accurate information, medical professionals can recognize patients at any facility within a health network with access to complete medical histories of patients, resulting in more timely and better informed patient care. Like IBM, Initiate is committed to industry standards and its technologies support relevant health care regulations and standards including HL7 and HIPAA.

"With the addition of Initiate's software and its industry expertise, IBM will offer clients a comprehensive solution for delivering the information they need to improve the well-being of patients at a lower cost", stated Arvind Krishna, general manager, Information Management, IBM. "Similarly, our government clients will now have even more capabilities for gathering and making use of information to serve citizens in a timely and efficient manner."

Initiate's health care clients include payers and providers as well as retailers selling prescription drugs. Among these clients are Alberta Ministry of Health and Wellness, BMI Healthcare in the United Kingdom, Calgary Health Region, CVS/Caremark, Humana, Ochsner Health System, the State of North Dakota's Department of Health and Human Services and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

For example, Sutter Health, a not-for-profit network of doctors and hospitals serving more than 100 communities in Northern California, is using Initiate's technology to link its entire health network with accuracy and flexibility to enhance patient safety, customer satisfaction, and the efficiency of business operations.

Initiate's technology is also widely used to help government agencies of all sizes use information to boost efficiency. Government agencies are stymied at times because they have no easy way to access pertinent information across multiple systems. In combination with IBM InfoSphere software, Initiate software will expand capabilities for information governance and help agencies gain a single view of relevant information to better serve citizens.

For example, the North Dakota Department of Human Services (DHS) - which helps vulnerable residents of all ages with critical services such as Medicaid and child welfare programmes - turned to Initiate to help it create a single view of all the citizens it serves. Like other government agencies, DHS's information on citizens was dispersed across numerous data silos. DHS is now using technology to access a single view of all its clients, allowing the agency to share information across its many programs to increase citizen enrollment, speed the process of determining eligibility and more accurately measure programme effectiveness.

"Our clients will be the ones who benefit most from this acquisition", stated Bill Conroy, president and chief executive officer, Initiate Systems. "They will continue to get the software and expertise they depend on, plus the incalculable advantage they will gain through IBM's global reach and its capabilities in enterprise software, hardware and services."

Consistent with the company's strategy, IBM will continue to support and enhance Initiate's technologies while helping clients take advantage of the broader IBM portfolio. Customers will benefit from additional information management capabilities including clinical analytics, information discovery and transformation and data warehousing and business intelligence.

IBM's acquisition of Initiate extends the company's business analytics strategy, including the range of offerings available through IBM's recently-announced Business Analytics and Optimization Consulting organisation which includes a team of 4000 consultants, a network of analytics solution centres, and is backed by an overall investment of more than $10 billion in organic growth and acquisitions.

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory clearance and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2010. IBM intends to integrate the Initiate organisation with its Information Management business after the closing. More news on IBM and Initiate is available in the VMW December 2007 article Carefx collaborates with CA, IBM, and Initiate Systems to deliver eHealth Initiative to North Louisiana.

Source: IBM

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