NEW ORLEANS — Feb. 26, 2007 — Providing government and healthcare organizations worldwide with a free and extensible architectural foundation to simplify interoperability and integration between healthcare solutions, Microsoft Corp. today announced the broad availability of the Connected Health Framework Architecture and Design Blueprint. The announcement comes as attendees from all segments of the healthcare industry convene to explore cutting-edge technologies, marketplace changes, new models of delivery and care, and other leading issues at this year’s Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society Conference taking place in New Orleans through March 1.
The Microsoft® Connected Health Framework Architecture and Design Blueprint provides a real-world model for providers seeking to deploy service-oriented architecture (SOA) solutions to address increasing pressures on an overburdened and fragmented healthcare system. In addition to the Blueprint, Microsoft is making available the Health Connection Engine, a standards-based set of Web services that enable health organizations to quickly deploy solutions to improve interoperability, clinical collaboration and decision-making tools.
“IT-enabled process improvement is at the heart of federal healthcare policy initiatives and a key agenda item for healthcare industry leaders,” said Marc Holland, program director for Health Provider Research at Health Industry Insights, an IDC company. “The ability to integrate patient information stored in a variety of data sources across the entire continuum of care is essential to this effort, and SOA is a critical enabling technology. With the ability to efficiently connect disparate legacy systems and build new applications quickly and economically, solutions like Microsoft’s Connected Health Framework Architecture can provide an effective framework for implementing SOA and building the applications that can achieve this goal.”
The Connected Health Framework Architecture and Design Blueprint offers a vendor-agnostic approach for addressing integration and solutions within healthcare organizations and provides guidance to help these organizations address key issues, such as service delivery capability, capacity and reliability. The Blueprint is now available at no cost (connect-time charges may apply) for download from the Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN®) Healthcare Industry Center, which also launches today, at http://msdn.microsoft.com/healthcare.
“Our mission is to create a framework and a partner ecosystem with the potential to transform the provider experience and ultimately the delivery model for patient care,” said Tim Smokoff, managing director of health with the Worldwide Public Sector team at Microsoft. “We are committed to this global mission, and we are confident that Microsoft’s technology, coupled with our partner solutions, will bring positive change to the healthcare industry.”
Either working independently or with Microsoft partners, healthcare organizations can utilize the Architecture and Design Blueprint to quickly create solutions that respond to changing business and patient care needs, lessening the need for expensive and lengthy consulting engagements. The Blueprint captures best practices from a number of industries and customer projects around the world, such as The Asklepios Group in Germany and Sutter Health in California.
For Sutter Health, an association of hospitals serving more than 100 communities in Northern California, the guidance in the Connected Health Framework Architecture and Design Blueprint has yielded benefits. Earlier this year, Sutter implemented an early detection and treatment program for severe sepsis in intensive care unit patients by leveraging an electronic forms-based solution. Using Microsoft Office InfoPath® 2003, Microsoft Office SharePoint® Portal Server 2003 and Microsoft SQL Server™ 2005, Sutter was able to build its solution based on the Framework’s architecture guidelines, helping Sutter administrators save patient lives and nearly $1 million in costs.
“We have been able to save more than 50 patients in the last three to four months,” said Dr. John Mesic, chief medical officer for the Sacramento-Sierra Region of Sutter Health. “The Connected Health Framework Architecture and Design Blueprint enabled us to build a solution quickly and collect more data to effectively deliver patient care formulas that are faster, accurate and more proactive than our previous solution.”
Back in 2005, Asklepios, together with Microsoft and Intel Corporation, embarked on a leading-edge Hospital of the Future program with a goal to set new standards of quality and efficiency in the German healthcare system, and support the reform process in the healthcare sector in Germany by developing related technologies and eHealth offers. Using an early model of the Connected Health Framework Architecture and Design Blueprint, an end-to-end electronic case record system was created that focused on integrated medicine and telemedicine. It was designed to improve patient care and the exchange of information within the hospital and across a patient’s health care network; reduce the length of hospital stays; streamline operations; and allow doctors and nurses to spend more time with patients.
“We wanted to create value-added offers for the doctors who work together with us and their patients,” said Dr. Jörg Weidenhammer, executive manager of the LBK at Asklepios. “Moreover, we are also interested in improving the cooperation between hospitals within the group as well as being able to include medical insurance companies, nursing facilities and other partners in the overall picture. The Connected Health Framework guidance was instrumental in helping us achieve these goals.”
The initial work was a success, with Asklepios realizing increases in inpatient care levels, a lower TCO and greater efficiency across the organization, and the program is being rolled out across other health care institutions in the organization.
The Connected Health Framework Architecture and Design Blueprint is the first offering from Microsoft in a series of guidance documents and toolsets for the worldwide healthcare provider community. More information on the Microsoft Connected Health Framework Architecture and Design Blueprint is available at the MSDN Healthcare Industry Center Web site at http://msdn.microsoft.com/healthcare.
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 pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device companies, physicians and healthcare professionals, provider organizations, government and private-sector employers, health insurers, and consumers. Microsoft’s vision for knowledge-driven health utilizes the company’s cutting-edge technology to help these groups integrate their systems, dramatically enhance collaboration, and increase information sharing and learning — ultimately resulting in the ability to deliver high-quality products and services to patients and consumers worldwide. More information about Microsoft in Healthcare and Life Sciences can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/healthcare.
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