Norton Healthcare has entered into an agreement with Microsoft Corp. to use its health solutions platforms, Microsoft Amalga Unified Intelligence System (UIS) and Microsoft HealthVault. These systems will allow Norton Healthcare to aggregate and mine data in a highly efficient manner and will assist the Louisville, Ky.-based health care system in its Accountable Care Organization (ACO) initiative.
Norton Healthcare and Humana Inc. are working together to establish the first ACO in the region, which represents one of four national pilot sites for the Brookings-Dartmouth ACO Pilot Project. The ACO model Norton and Humana are co-creating established incentives for health systems to increase quality and efficiency, better coordinate patient care, eliminate waste, and reduce the overuse and misuse of care (see Nov. 23 news release: “Norton Healthcare and Humana Launch Accountable Care Organization”).
Microsoft Amalga UIS, a data aggregation platform, will play a critical role in enabling Norton Healthcare to rapidly gain longitudinal, person-centric and population views of patient data stored across multiple sites and providers, a key element of the ACO pilot. The ability to view a broad set of individual and population patient data will enable the ACO to identify ways to improve the quality of care, improve care coordination across the community and reduce costs.
Specifically, as part of the ACO pilot, Norton will use Amalga UIS to create comprehensive views of patients managing chronic conditions by combining clinical data from inpatient and outpatient sites, payment data from Humana, and patient-provided data from HealthVault, a personal health application platform. This will help Norton to identify opportunities for more supportive care, support patient self-monitoring and management, better manage care transitions, and reduce hospital readmissions.
The ACO also will use HealthVault to support the creation of a patient-centric medical home by giving patients an easy way to store and share personal health information with providers, and to track and share health indicators, including blood pressure and weight, through the use of connected personal health devices, such as blood pressure cuffs, glucometers and scales that are connected to their health care provider via computer.
Patients will benefit by having a personalized portal view of portions of their electronic medical record (EMR). They can take more responsibility for their own health by tracking their progress in areas such as exercise, blood glucose, weight and blood pressure. Having their clinical information available to non-Norton Healthcare providers lessens the chance of patients receiving duplicate tests or conflicting care instructions.
“Using Amalga UIS and Microsoft HealthVault, Norton Healthcare will have access to an extensive systemwide data and patient relationship strategy designed to improve the health and quality of care for our patients,” said Steven T. Hester, M.D., MBA, system senior vice president and chief medical officer, Norton Healthcare. “We can use the data to provide a more complete view of a patient’s history.”
“We’re excited to collaborate with Norton Healthcare on its ACO initiative and demonstrate the power of data to transform healthcare,” said Peter Neupert, corporate vice president, Microsoft Health Solutions Group. “We look forward to showing how unlocking health data and making it available for re-use across a health system, from hospital to clinic to home, can improve care outcomes for patients and create efficiencies at the same time.”
Amalga UIS addresses a common and critical challenge of healthcare providers — integrating vast amounts of clinical, administrative and financial information that flows in and out of disparate information systems, and tailoring that information for use by physicians, analysts, laboratory technicians, nurses and administrators. Amalga takes advantage of health enterprises’ investments in existing health IT solutions, making it possible for the entire organization to gain quick access to data and turn that information into critical knowledge that facilitates better decision-making and improved patient outcomes.
Microsoft HealthVault is a personal health application platform designed to put consumers in control of their health information. HealthVault provides a privacy- and security-enhanced foundation on which a broad range of providers can build innovative health and wellness solutions, such as personal health records, disease management, fitness, weight loss and other Web applications. HealthVault can be used to collect and store health information that would otherwise reside in disparate systems and transfer the information between a variety of providers’ health services and systems. It enables the reuse and free flow of interoperable and transportable personal health information.
Amalga UIS is in use at more than 120 hospitals in renowned U.S. health organizations, including NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, The Johns Hopkins Health System and the Wisconsin Health Information Exchange. More information is available at http://www.microsoft.com/amalga.