New Health Information Exchange Based on Microsoft, CSC, HealthUnity Technologies

A new health information exchange developed by the Metropolitan Chicago Healthcare Council (MCHC) to serve more than nine million people will be based on technologies from Microsoft Corp. Computer Sciences Corp. (CSC) and HealthUnity Corp., officials said.

The MetroChicago Health Information Exchange (HIE) aims to ease the flow of data across healthcare organizations and will enable more comprehensive views of patient information, lowering costs by reducing redundant tests and time spent gathering patient information and making patient care more efficient.

The project will use Microsoft Amalga, an enterprise health intelligence platform to aggregate a unified view of patient medical history. CSC will provide project management, implementation, hosting and support services while HealthUnity's software will be used with Amalga to provide certain complementary services.

"The HIE will be one of the largest in the country and will allow our region's healthcare market to improve efficiency by creating a network where health information flows with the patient, no matter where care is received, said Mary Anne Kelly, MCHC vice president.

"Seventy percent of hospitals in the Chicago metro area have already become founding members of the HIE, which is a testament to area healthcare organizations' stalwart commitment to improving quality and patient safety."

Officials said that the MetroChicago HIE initially will build Clinical Summary and Emergency Department Linking use cases aligned with the meaningful use incentives detailed in the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act of 2009. 

"As the industry continues to focus on delivering value -- better care at the same, or lower, costs -- the flow of data across organizational boundaries and the ability to analyze and report on data across patient populations is increasingly important," said Peter Neupert, Microsoft Health Solutions Group corporate vice president. 

"MCHC is leading its healthcare provider members to adopt technologies that can help drive value throughout the care delivery process, enabling a healthier population," he said.

Mark Roman, CSC president, said that "CSC is looking forward to delivering a powerful solution that gives MCHC the ability to analyze data across populations, enhance quality of care within that community and use the data to improve coordination across the continuum of care." 

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