IBM, Premier to integrate nation's healthcare data to gain insight, measure performance and improve population health

ARMONK, N.Y. AND CHARLOTTE, N.C. (January 6, 2011) - IBM (NYSE:IBM) and the Premier healthcare alliance today announced plans to integrate health information from across hospitals and other healthcare sites. More than 2,400 hospitals and thousands of other healthcare sites will benefit from this model to help improve clinical outcomes, reduce waste and prepare for new methods of delivering care required by health reform.

IBM and Premier will develop an industry-first technology platform to gain insights on, measure and improve the health of the population. This will support hospitals, doctors and other health providers in working together to enhance patient safety while reducing the overuse of procedures, readmissions, unnecessary ER visits and hospital-acquired conditions.

Recent research from the Institute of Medicine and the Archives of Internal Medicine suggests enhanced use of health data is needed to reduce fragmentation of medical information that results in higher medical costs and increased likelihood of adverse medical events. In most healthcare settings, the data needed to make these improvements is stored in many different formats and multiple locations. This same information also needs to be made more accessible to support accountable care organizations mandated under the Affordable Care Act that reimburse providers for quality of care, not volume of care.

"Doctors and other medical personnel need relevant, meaningful and real-time information at the point of care delivery to make better decisions about how to treat each patient," said Billings Clinic CEO Nicholas Wolter, MD. "Comprehensive information like this helps connect the dots, allowing us to see what type of care works best for patients and how we as caregivers can make the biggest impact in keeping people well."

According to Lynn Miller, executive vice president, clinical operations at Geisinger Health System, "We know that effective data can improve outcomes, reduce readmissions and eliminate duplicative and unnecessary care. Doctors, hospitals and insurance companies using information-sharing platforms set the true foundation for redesigning how healthcare is delivered and paid for."

For patients, this means greater certainty they will get the most effective treatment possible. It will also provide better assurance that the care they receive follows best practices from leading hospitals and healthcare experts across the nation. In addition, the model will enable comparative effectiveness by demonstrating how effectively various medical treatments improve health outcomes and conditions.

"For the first time, all members in the healthcare system will be able to easily access data that is consistent and unified to help reduce preventable harm and waste," said Susan DeVore, president and CEO of Premier. "This has been the missing link in helping move the mark on evidence-based medicine by using new insight to transform the quality and cost-effectiveness of care. It's a win-win-win for providers, patients and payors - care is more effective, people are happier and spend less time in care settings, and excess costs are reduced."

Results from Premier's QUEST® initiative show the improvements that could be made in the inpatient setting alone by incorporating this type of data sharing model. The project's 157 participating hospitals saved an estimated 22,164 lives and reduced healthcare spending by $2.13 billion. Estimates projected an additional 64,000 lives and $23 billion could have been saved if all hospitals in the country had been able to achieve results similar to those in QUEST.

Participants in Premier's Accountable Care Implementation Collaborative will leverage the model to exchange data. The collaborative is currently composed of 25 health systems with more than 90 hospitals and 5,000 physicians providing care for 1.4 million patients across 19 states. They include: Billings Clinic; Bon Secours Health System Inc.; Fairview Health Services; Geisinger Health System; North Shore - Long Island Jewish Health System; Presbyterian Healthcare Services; and Summa Health System. Premier will offer these capabilities to its more than 2,400 member hospitals and 70,000-plus other care sites beginning in spring 2011.

According to Dan Pelino, general manager, IBM healthcare and life sciences, "Without access to this data, the majority of providers simply cannot offer the type of accountable care that regulations require and patients deserve. Our work with Premier will help clinical, administrative and financial decision makers easily and efficiently access information that could improve care. This is a necessity to transform healthcare delivery, bending the cost curve while improving the quality of care."

The initiative will access Premier's clinical, financial and operational comparative database, the nation's largest compilation of inpatient data containing nearly 40 percent of all U.S. hospital discharges. It will also incorporate non-hospital data (physician practice and other ambulatory settings) and health plan data. Examples of this data include:
· Clinical data regarding how care was delivered and related outcomes;
· Supply chain data that incorporates clinical outcomes with costs; and
· Operational data regarding labor efficiency and overall operating costs.

The new industry standard, pre-integrated platform for data acquisition, transformation, real time validation and meaningful metrics is built on the IBM Health Integration Framework. It is powered by IBM Smarter Analytics System with DB2 data warehouse. The IBM information management portfolio is used to acquire, transform and create a single view of each constituent or entity. Master Data Management, identity resolution and acquisition will be provided by Initiate Software. The data is then integrated and validated, and clinical or business rules management is applied through WebSphere. Tivoli software provides security and service management. Application development is built upon Rational software and a common user experience and collaboration is provided through Lotus software. The entire system runs on IBM POWER7 technology.

About the Premier healthcare alliance, Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award recipient
Premier is a performance improvement alliance of more than 2,400 U.S. hospitals and 70,000-plus other healthcare sites using the power of collaboration to lead the transformation to high quality, cost-effective care. Owned by hospitals, health systems and other providers, Premier maintains the nation's most comprehensive repository of clinical, financial and outcomes information and operates a leading healthcare purchasing network. A world leader in helping deliver measurable improvements in care, Premier works with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the United Kingdom's National Health Service North West to improve hospital performance. Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Premier also has offices in San Diego, Philadelphia and Washington. Stay connected with Premier on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

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