Partners makes big interoperability push

InterSystems will work with Epic to consolidate clinical and financial IT system-wide

By Mike Miliard
10:45 AM

Partners HealthCare is once again looking across the Charles River to Cambridge, Mass.-based InterSystems, enlisting the company to replace several existing integration engines and enable the health system to consolidate its financial and clinical technologies onto one electronic health record platform.

Partners has long partnered with InterSystems, whose Caché database system powers its EHR system and hundreds of applications used by thousands of clinicians throughout its network. Moreover, Partners' use of the InterSystems Ensemble rapid integration software has enabled smooth integration of its library of services and applications, officials say.

Just over a year ago, Partners announced it would implement an integrated electronic health information system at all institutions across the Partners network by 2017. Called Partners eCare, the initiative is the largest program of its kind in the history of Partners HealthCare, officials say, part of its larger mission to redesign patient care models, advance population health management, reduce cost and strengthen community-based care.

In keeping with the eCare's goal of "one patient, one record, one team, one Partners statement," InterSystems technology will support the seamless flow of clinical and administrative information between third-party systems and the enterprise EHR, officials say, helping to improve coordination of care, reduce unnecessary testing, and support quality and cost imperatives.

"Partners is redesigning care delivery to improve the health of our patients while improving the affordability of care," said Steven Flammini, chief technology officer of Partners HealthCare, in a press statement. "Achieving these goals requires a level of coordination and standardization across Partners that cannot be supported by a 'patchwork quilt' of disparate information systems.

By working with Epic Systems, Partners' EHR vendor, Intersystems is helping Partners "fulfill its pledge to deliver the highest quality care that is safe, effective, accessible, and affordable," he said.

"By integrating both revenue cycle and clinical applications, we are benefitting our patients and care providers," said John Pappas, associate director of clinical Systems integration at Partners, in a statement. "When patients move through the Partners system, they will have a single, consolidated health record that follows them, and a single, coherent statement of all Partners services provided."

"Partners recognizes that strategic interoperability is central to achieving the strategic goals of the Partners eCare initiative," said Paul Grabscheid, vice president of strategic planning at InterSystems. "We have enjoyed a decades-long relationship with Partners on every step of its journey to improving outcomes and managing costs, and that continues with their selection of HealthShare to achieve a holistic view of individual patients as well as patient cohorts across the Partners HealthCare network."

[See also: Partners and Health Catalyst join forces]