A meaningful exchange?
Caradigm, the joint health IT venture formed by Microsoft and GE Healthcare, announced March 27 it would integrate health information exchange technology from Orion Health into its Caradigm Intelligence Platform.
Officials say the addition of data exchange capabilities to the cloud-based platform and its accompanying suite of apps will offer healthcare organizations the ability to gain insights from data aggregated from disparate systems across the healthcare community, helping them tackle issues such as payment reform, patient engagement, population health and more.
"Together, Orion Health and Caradigm are addressing an unmet need in the market for an extensible, end-to-end solution that combines market-leading health information exchange capabilities, near real-time data aggregation and a growing ecosystem of innovative, data-driven applications," Mark Johnston, Caradigm's vice president of platform solutions, tells Healthcare IT News.
Orion's HIE data will help spur development of new apps for Caradigm's platform, aimed at addressing customer needs in the areas of decision support and quality improvement, officials add.
The platform-as-a-service model, offering exchange and aggregation of clinical, financial and administrative data, from both HIEs and other IT systems, "is designed to significantly simplify the implementation and operation of the platform and applications for organizations that have smaller IT departments," says Johnston.
"Platform as a service will increasingly play a role in the health information exchange market as vendors add value-added services, such as analytics, care management and consumer engagement tools," said Lynne Dunbrack, program director, Connected Health IT Strategies at IDC Health Insights, in a press statement.
"This will be especially evident as HIE vendors build out their technology portfolios to target the burgeoning accountable care market and update solution offerings for healthcare providers that are building out their ACO capabilities," she added.
Under the agreement, Orion Health will act as a referral partner for the Caradigm Intelligence Platform and the integrated technology in the U.S., and as a reseller and services provider for the platform, as well as the Caradigm Identity and Access Management tools, in certain territories outside of the U.S. That IAM suite includes provisioning, single sign-on and context management technologies. Caradigm, meanwhile, will resell Orion Health HIE under the Caradigm brand and promote the integrated solution to health systems in the U.S.
In an interview last year with Healthcare IT News, Caradigm CEO Michael J. Simpson emphasized the worldwide reach of Caradigm's mission.
"We look at healthcare from a global economic crisis point of view," he said in March 2012. "Every country, every government is struggling with the increasing costs of healthcare. And trying to bend the cost curve and reduce the overall cost of delivery of care is going to be the primary agenda of today, and of the next decade moving forward."
Johnston says Auckland, New Zealand-based Orion Health, with its "significant library of interfaces for ambulatory system integration, fully integrated provider and patient portals, and a fully integrated modular technology stack," will help deliver to clients around the world.
"Orion Health's global footprint is important to Caradigm as we continue to establish the company outside of the U.S. In the past several months, we have opened locations in the U.K., Germany and China, and our partnership with Orion Health will help us extend our solutions to organizations in other geographies, including New Zealand, Australia, Thailand and certain Middle East territories," said Johnston.
"Orion Health HIE is one of the most widely deployed HIEs in the world, linking hundreds of facilities, used by hundreds of thousands of end users, and caring for a population of millions of lives," said Paul Viskovich, president of Orion Health North America. "We look forward to offering our mutual expertise to healthcare organizations worldwide."
"As health systems everywhere search for better answers to quality, cost, revenue and population health management, we expect our partnership to deliver significant value to our customers and strong growth for both of our companies," added Simpson in a statement.
With interoperability and data exchange notoriously sticky issues for healthcare, this new collaboration would seem to be another step forward for health IT's mission of improving population health.
"The IHE standards for interoperability have progressed substantially and are now being adhered to by leading organizations, including Orion Health and Caradigm," B.G. Jones, vice president of partner alliances for Orion Health, tells Healthcare IT News.
"Orion Health's Rhapsody Integration Engine allows for interfacing and integrating with hundreds of EMR systems and is used by thousands of customers globally," he added. "The governance of data exchange has also progressed because of the robust security controls of the patient's longitudinal record."
Still, he said, "The standards and governance must continue to be improved in order for patients to have the highest level of confidence that their confidential health information is secure, which will lead to the patient being able to take a more proactive engagement of their own care."