Eclipsys, Microsoft partnership looks to open platforms, interoperability

Eclipsys Corp., an Atlanta-based health IT company, and computer technology giant Microsoft Corp. are planning to integrate their platforms to provide more flexible and interoperable solutions to healthcare providers.

Under the agreement, officials said both companies plan to integrate key components of Eclipsys'  Sunrise Enterprise suite of integrated software applications with Microsoft Amalga Unified Intelligence System (UIS), a data aggregation platform that integrates clinical, administrative and financial data from disparate information systems. Officials said the goal of the planned integration is to give providers improved analytic capabilities and help connect estranged and disparate data repositories.

"Eclipsys and Microsoft offer complementary strengths to healthcare enterprises looking to overcome the restraints caused by legacy health IT applications that block the strategic exchange and use of digital health data," said Peter Neupert, corporate vice president, Microsoft Health Solutions Group.

By combining the strength of both our companies, said Neupert, we expect to bring new light and technology choices to providers needing to make the most from their existing IT infrastructure.

Simply stated, Eclipsys officials said, providers can collect data much easier.

"Clinicians have been frustrated by not having critical information available to them at the point of care because either the information resided on disparate systems or they were unaware that patient data was available," said Philip M. Pead, Eclipsys' president and chief executive officer. "The new federal regulations surrounding the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and achieving 'meaningful use' are a tipping point that will drive a rapid amount of change in how healthcare information is accessed."

The partnership goes along with goals set down by Eclipsys to make its platforms more open and increase interoperability between other hospital information systems, said officials. Eclipsys is looking to enable third parties to develop new applications that integrate well with their solutions, officials added.

"An open platform approach to healthcare information technology is expected to deliver much-needed relief to technology managers challenged to free up data trapped in old, proprietary systems," said Aurelia G. Boyer, senior vice president and chief information officer, New York-Presbyterian Hospital. "We are longtime users of Sunrise Enterprise and an early adopter of Microsoft Amalga. Our work with Microsoft has helped us develop a more patient-centric approach by connecting the diverse health information systems from hospital to home to community. The combination of these solutions provides the opportunity to deliver faster, better data liquidity to enable us to improve clinical outcomes and less-costly mandatory public reporting."