Premier makes big connect with big data

By Bernie Monegain
10:16 AM

The Premier healthcare alliance will connect more than 100,000 healthcare provides in what Premier calls the world’s largest healthcare community to share knowledge, data, best practices and decision support.

The alliance’s PremierConnect technology platform will make it possible for clinicians, supply chain leaders, hospital executives and other healthcare providers nationwide to connect as one in communities of common interest, officials say.

Premier, which describes itself as a performance improvement alliance, includes more than 2,600 U.S. hospitals and 84,000-plus other healthcare sites.

PremierConnect will connect data, knowledge and people in ways that support evolving care delivery models and accelerate the pace of performance improvement, say Premier officials. The virtual community allows alliance members to instantly share knowledge, data and strategies based on thousands of patient outcomes that can be used to benefit treatment anywhere, an ability that has been a missing link in care delivery to date.

"Health systems today need an integrated look into utilization, costs, efficiency and quality," said Michael D. Connelly, president and CEO of Catholic Health Partners. "With this information we can further build out the predictive capabilities that will help us find opportunities and enact corrective actions before they affect patients. This initiative is a critical foundational piece to our mission and the mission of the Premier alliance to improve the health of our communities."

PremierConnect supports new ways to deliver care that are required by health reform, including accountable care organizations (ACOs), which emphasize more clinical integration and healthier outcomes. Individual health systems can use it to connect care across all of their sites – hospitals, physician offices, outpatient clinics and more. These population analytic capabilities provide insight into how to manage populations for improved outcomes.

"Leaders of healthcare systems will be able to easily make data-driven, evidence-based decisions that improve performance while making their communities healthier places to live,” said Premier President and CEO Susan DeVore. “They'll know which patients are driving undesirable outcomes, which physicians have the highest costs or the poorest performance, and why these scenarios are occurring.

"Patients will have confidence that their care is based on proven innovations and best practices from top-performing clinical leaders nationwide," DeVore added. "And their providers will understand everything about their care – what drugs they're taking or allergic to, what procedures they've had recently and more."

PremierConnect will integrate Premier's clinical, financial and operational comparative databases, containing one in four patient admissions and close to $43 billion in annual purchasing data. This information is updated every 30 days to ensure it is current. It will also continuously integrate real-time electronic health record data from over 325 hospitals. Premier's quality, safety, labor and supply chain applications will be easily accessible in PremierConnect, helping providers make decisions based on a combination of quality, safety and cost information – not each individually.

"What we've built mirrors what we're trying to do in healthcare – build a system that is coordinated and integrated, where communication is dramatically improved and we aren't unnecessarily repeating work," said Keith J. Figlioli, Premier's senior vice president of healthcare informatics. "It will help eliminate unnecessary care that can compromise safety and add to already expensive bills for both consumers and health systems. It's a new, better approach to care delivery, with a truly efficient way to treat patients and keep people healthy."

PremierConnect is powered by IBM information management, business analytics, enterprise content management, social business, Rational, Tivoli and WebSphere software, as well as IBM Power Systems hardware to provide insights from vast amounts of data.

[See also: Premier to bring meaning to disparate data]


[See also: Premier develops industry IT standards for ACOs]