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Cook Children’s Health , Athena Health Engaging Microsoft Amalga and HealthVault for Pediatric Patient Record Access and Informa

Posted Jul 13 2009 10:50pm

Microsoft Amalga will be used to bring various silos of information under one roof and information will be available in HealthVault.  Patients and caregivers will be able to access health record information from inside and outside the system. image

Cook Children’s is working with AthenaHealth’s EHR software service for the medical records side of the solution and covers about 350 providers in Texas.  One more step in unifying records and helping put the consumer in control at the same time.  BD 

Press Release:

Cook Children’s Health Care System Collaborates with athenahealth and Microsoft to Help Drive Improved Outcomes and Lower Health Care Costs for Pediatric Patients

Leading Children’s Health System to Leverage athenahealth’s Electronic Health Record Service and the Microsoft Amalga Unified Intelligence System to Support Extended Connectivity Strategy

FORT WORTH, Texas, WATERTOWN, Mass. & REDMOND, Wash--Cook Children’s Health Care System today announced they are collaborating with athenahealth, Inc. and Microsoft Corporation to implement information technology solutions designed to improve care and outcomes for pediatric patients nationwide.

Cook Children’s is listed in US NEWS & World Report as one of the top children’s hospitals in the nation and in the Modern Healthcare top 100 Integrated Health Care Networks. Cook Children’s currently supports more than 60 pediatric medical offices and specialty clinics throughout Texas. It also conducts over 258,000 specialty clinic visits, 472,000 pediatric office visits and 99,000 emergency department visits annually.  

In 2008, Cook Children’s established the bold promise of improving the health of every child in its region through the prevention and treatment of illness, disease and injury. It then set out to find the tools and the resources that could help in fulfilling that promise and believes athenahealth and image Microsoft are ideal partners.  

Cook Children’s has selected athenahealth’s 2008 CCHIT® Certified electronic health record (EHR) service, athenaClinicals SM, for its Cook Children’s Physician Network (CCPN) which employs approximately 350 medical providers. Cook Children’s will also be implementing athenahealth’s revenue cycle management service, athenaCollector SM.

While a highly functional EHR is an important improvement, to maximize patient care, an organization must bring together all of the information it has from multiple resources at the point of care for each child. To achieve this unprecedented leap forward, Cook Children’s will implement the Microsoft Amalga Unified Intelligence System (UIS) 2009. This strategic data aggregation platform will span Cook Children’s multiple lines of business, including CCPN, its Medical Center, and its Health Plan. With Amalga UIS, Cook Children’s will be able to unify inpatient, outpatient, lab, radiology and home health data, enabling clinicians to access real-time information from a single source.

Additionally, through this collaborative effort with athenahealth and Microsoft, Cook Children’s will enable its patients to connect with Microsoft HealthVault, an online personal health platform that allows individuals to store their health information, or their whole family’s health information, in one security-enhanced location. Using HealthVault, consumers have complete control over their electronic health data and can give permission to their physicians and other healthcare providers to view it and give input, supporting more informed decisions around patient care. image

As planning with athenahealth and Microsoft progressed, it became clear to Cook Children’s that through athenahealth, these same tools could be made available to physicians nationally. Through athenahealth, Cook Children’s has found a way to allow primary care physicians across the country to electronically refer their patients for virtual consults with the pediatric subspecialists employed by CCPN. Also as part of the collaboration, athenahealth in conjunction with Cook Childrens’s purchasing organization, PedsPal, will offer preferred pricing for athenahealth’s EHR and its revenue cycle management services to PedsPal’s 1,100 affiliated physicians spanning 22 states as part of this larger national clinical connectivity strategy.

“This unique venture with these proactive organizations brings a fresh solution that will be reproducible and sustainable in medical practices across the country at a very low cost,” said Rick Merrill, President and CEO of Cook Children’s Health Care System. “Most importantly it gives a child, regardless of their insurance or ability to pay, collaborative care and the starting point for a permanent internet accessible medical record. In selecting athenahealth’s clinical and revenue cycle management service our physicians will now be instantly connected on a common web-based platform,” said Merrill. “Through Amalga UIS, we will be able to integrate our medical center, physician practices, health plan and home health company. Cook Children’s will be uniquely positioned to use leading edge health information technologies to advance the quality of patient care.”

“Cook Children’s Health Care System continues to demonstrate its leadership position nationally and athenahealth is thrilled to have been selected to work with them and Microsoft as they deploy our unique ambulatory EHR and revenue cycle management services that we believe will improve both the clinical and financial outcomes for its patients and physicians,” said Jonathan Bush, Chairman and CEO of athenahealth. “With all of our clients sharing the same national physician network, athenaNet, Cook Children’s is now in a position to execute on an exciting new clinical connectivity strategy that will benefit children throughout Texas and across the country.”

“We’re excited to collaborate with Cook Children’s and athenahealth to implement a health IT strategy that will help improve the care and outcomes of pediatric patients across the country” said Steve Shihadeh, Vice President of Microsoft’s Health Solutions Group. “By unlocking and connecting the vast amounts of data across the health enterprise with Amalga UIS, we can give the professionals at Cook Children’s the right information at the right time, helping them to make optimal decisions for improving the health of children.”

Related Reading:

Steve Shihadeh, VP Microsoft Health Solutions Group – The Amalga Software Solution for Aggregating Hospital Information (Interview)
Wisconsin Health Information Exchange RHIO connected with Amalga from Microsoft
There’s No Good Reason to Delay Data Liquidity and Information Sharing in Healthcare..
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