REDMOND, Wash. — Nov. 18, 2005 — Last Thursday, U.S Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Mike Leavitt awarded a consortium led by Computer Sciences Corp. (CSC) one of four contracts to develop prototypes for a Nationwide Health Information Network (NHIN). As a member of the consortium, Microsoft Corp. will play a key role in the development, providing Microsoft® .NET technology to drive interoperable software solutions between MA-SHARE and the other regional entities participating in the CSC-led group: Indiana Health Information Exchange and Mendocino HRE of California.
Based on Microsoft’s integrated technology, the MA-SHARE prototype represents a regional collaboration of health insurers and healthcare providers, universities, pharmacies, advocacy and interest groups, governmental bodies, and employers. Focusing on four pilot sites within MA-SHARE membership, the initiative promotes the interorganizational exchange of healthcare data using information technology, open industry standards and administrative simplification. It was chosen for its perceived ability to accelerate a more secure and seamless transfer of health information across the United States.
“This national architecture project will enable clinicians to more securely exchange the healthcare information they need to make better treatment decisions,” said John Halamka, M.D., M.S., chief information officer of Harvard Medical School and CareGroup Healthcare System and chairman of the New England Healthcare Electronic Data Interchange Network (NEHEN). “Because a multitude of technology platforms exist in healthcare organizations across the country, a middleware approach based on Web services will empower rapid connectivity with minimal intrusion into existing systems.”
Microsoft’s .NET platform embraces open standards and Web services, and benefits from the more than $7 billion that Microsoft invests in research and development every year. It has been proved successful in providing seamless integration and interoperability in many industries, including healthcare. Within the CSC-led consortium, Microsoft’s technology has effectively demonstrated interoperability with the Web services platforms employed by the Indiana Health Information Exchange and Mendocino HRE, a capability that eventually can be scaled across the nationwide network.
“At Microsoft, interoperability is designed into our software products from the ground up, because we believe that the exchange of information at any level should be a seamless experience,” said Steve Shihadeh, general manager of Healthcare and Life Sciences at Microsoft. “The proven success of our platform in the MA-SHARE initiative is an encouraging indication that the healthcare industry will reach its goal of a nationwide health information network.”
Industry Panel Discussion
As attention turns to the network prototypes highlighted by Secretary Leavitt’s announcement, the Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council today is convening a summit of industry leaders in Waltham, Mass., to examine strategies for improving the quality, safety and affordability of healthcare through universal adoption of modern information technology such as electronic health records and access to point-of-care clinical information. Microsoft, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts, and New Tilt Inc. are sponsors of the forum and, as members of the council’s healthcare advisory board, have taken a leadership role in organizing the session. As part of the forum, panelists including the following will explore the technology infrastructure necessary to achieve the collaboration objectives at both the state and national levels:
Karen Bell, M.D., MMS, acting director, Office of Health IT Adoption, Office of the National Coordinator, HHS
David Delano, Northern Berkshire Healthcare, Massachusetts e-Health Collaborative (MAeHC) Pilot Site
Renee Fry, director, Department of Business and Technology, Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Gary Gaumer, healthcare economist, assistant professor of Health Care Administration, Simmons College
Dr. Richard Mindess, president and medical director, Whittier IPA Inc. and Lower Merrimac Valley Physician Hospital Organization; physician and member, Newburyport pilot site
Chuck Parker, director, Health Information Technology, MassPRO
Micky Tripathi, CEO, Massachusetts e-Health Collaborative
Barry Zallen, medical director, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts Inc.
Additional information and event registration is available by contacting Nicole Brown at (781) 487-6459 or [email protected].
Massachusetts SHARE (Simplifying Healthcare Among Regional Entities) is a regional collaborative initiative operated by the Massachusetts Health Data Consortium. MA-SHARE seeks to promote the inter-organizational exchange of healthcare data using information technology, standards and administrative simplification, in order to make accurate clinical health information available wherever needed in an efficient, cost-effective and safe manner.
About Microsoft in Healthcare and Life Sciences
Microsoft provides standards-based products and technology to help the healthcare and life sciences industries break down information barriers between the disparate IT environments across provider organizations and physicians, pharmaceutical and medical device companies, government and private-sector employers, health insurers, and consumers. With Microsoft technology in place, healthcare organizations and individual workers collaborate more effectively, are more productive, and are able to spend less time managing their IT infrastructure and more time delivering high-quality patient care. More information about Microsoft in Healthcare and Life Sciences can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/healthcare.
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