IBM Fosters Creation of Health Information Exchanges

ATLANTA - 01 Mar 2010: At the HIMSS10 Conference at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia, IBM (NYSE: IBM) introduced Initiate Exchange, a new service that enables health systems to exchange patient data with physicians.  The company also announced that Initiate client CareSpark, has been awarded a Social Security Administration contract through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Today's news comes on the day that IBM completed its acquisition of Initiate Systems.  The acquisition was driven by IBM's desire to enhance its ability to help healthcare clients draw on data from hospitals, doctors' offices and payers to create a single, trusted shareable view of millions individual patient records.  

Connecting Healthcare Providers for Intelligent Information Sharing

Widespread adoption of electronic medical records (EMRs) is anticipated with the availability of stimulus funds set aside through the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH Act), part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).  According to the legislation, healthcare providers seeking funds must be "meaningfully using health information technology, such as through the reporting of quality measures."

While EMRs are essential to improving care and reducing costs, EMRs alone will not meet the requirements of meaningful use and more specifically, will not improve the quality of care and reduce costs.  A gap remains in the ability to connect healthcare participants for effective sharing of health information.

Initiate Exchange helps bridge this gap by enabling health systems to rapidly connect participants for community wide information sharing. Using Initiate's software as a service delivery model, physicians can quickly achieve their information sharing objectives without the cost and time associated with internal development or additional computing infrastructure. The offering gives health systems the flexibility to say "yes" to community physicians seeking to work more closely with the health system.

By offering services that enable physicians to issue orders, access test results and share registration information right from their EMR or practice management system, Initiate Exchange gives health systems a competitive advantage and helps physicians meet meaningful use requirements.

At the core of Initiate Exchange is Initiate's industry leading patient and provider matching logic which makes the solution unique from competitive offerings by helping to ensure the right information is associated with the right patient at the point of care regardless of location.

"This SaaS model from Initiate allows us to support our mission of improving the health of our communities by being able to quickly connect our physician community while giving us the flexibility to expand the scope at our own pace," said Jeff Allport, vice president, IT Solutions Delivery, St. Joseph Health System.

Initiate Client CareSpark Wins ARRA Funding

CareSpark, the regional health information organization serving east Tennessee and southwest Virginia, is one of 15 organizations to receive Social Security Administration contracts recently through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Initiate Customers Douglas County Individual Practice Association and the Lovelace Clinic Foundation also received contracts.

CareSpark's ability to request and retrieve specific records for a patient applying for disability benefits depends strongly on the ability of the Initiate software to accurately identify the patient, determine the location of the records and to do so in compliance with standards and requirements set by the Social Security Administration.

According to Liesa Jenkins, executive director of CareSpark, Initiate software is an integral technology used in CareSpark's network for the sharing of medical information, which has been cited as a national model for improving health outcomes in rural communities and across state lines. CareSpark relies on Initiate technology to accurately identify patient records.

"We use Initiate's EMPI and document registry to meet specific requirements such as those established by the Social Security Administration," said Jenkins. "Initiate technology integrates with other components of our health information exchange and is easy to configure and administer.

"As we extend our capabilities to serve an increased base of patients and providers and to offer additional functionality for users such as the Social Security Administration," added Jenkins. "We are glad to have solid support from Initiate as a strong collaborative partner."

"The commitment and success that CareSpark has demonstrated exemplify how health information sharing improves efficiencies and supports the HITECH Act objectives for meaningful use," said Lorraine Fernandes, vice president and healthcare industry ambassador for Initiate. "The Initiate team has worked closely with CareSpark for several years supporting accuracy of patient records and interoperability that meet the highest standards and requirements for sending information across the NHIN Connect gateway used by the Social Security Administration."

About Initiate Systems

Initiate Systems, an IBM Company, enables organizations to confidently share critical data assets. Multinational corporations, healthcare organizations and government agencies rely on Initiate® software and services to deliver complete, accurate and real-time views of data spread across multiple systems, domains or databases. Initiate's multi-domain master data management (MDM) solutions facilitate interoperability, information sharing, entity resolution and data quality to increase revenues, reduce costs and mitigate risks. Initiate operates globally through its subsidiaries, with corporate headquarters in Chicago and offices across the U.S., and in Toronto, London and Sydney. For more information, visit or follow the company at

Initiate Systems at HIMMS10

Initiate is participating in the HIMSS10 Annual Conference and Exhibition, March 1-4, 2010, at the Georgia World Conference Center, Atlanta, GA. To learn more about Initiate Exchange, CareSpark, or other healthcare organizations Initiate supports, visit Initiate at booth #7033.