Cook Children’s Health Care System Collaborates with athenahealth and Microsoft to Help Drive Improved Outcomes and Lower Health Care Costs for Pediatric Patients

FORT WORTH, TX — WATERTOWN, MA — REDMOND, WA – July 13, 2009 – Cook Children’s Health Care System today announced that it is collaborating with athenahealth, Inc. and Microsoft Corp. to implement information technology solutions designed to improve care and outcomes for pediatric patients nationwide.

Cook Children’s is listed in US NEWS & World Report as one of the top children’s hospitals in the nation and in the Modern Healthcare top 100 Integrated Health Care Networks. Cook Children’s currently supports more than 60 pediatric medical offices and specialty clinics throughout Texas. It also conducts over 258,000 specialty clinic visits, 472,000 pediatric office visits and 99,000 emergency department visits annually.

In 2008, Cook Children’s established the bold promise of improving the health of every child in its region through the prevention and treatment of illness, disease and injury. It then set out to find the tools and the resources that could help in fulfilling that promise and believes athenahealth and Microsoft are ideal partners.

Cook Children’s has selected athenahealth’s 2008 CCHIT® Certified electronic health record (EHR) service, athenaClinicalsSM, for its Cook Children’s Physician Network (CCPN) which employs approximately 350 medical providers. Cook Children’s will also be implementing athenahealth’s revenue cycle management service, athenaCollectorSM.

While a highly functional EHR is an important improvement, to maximize patient care, an organization must bring together all of the information it has from multiple resources at the point of care for each child. To achieve this unprecedented leap forward, Cook Children’s will implement the Microsoft Amalga Unified Intelligence System (UIS) 2009. This strategic data aggregation platform will span Cook Children’s multiple lines of business, including CCPN, its Medical Center and its Health Plan. With Amalga UIS, Cook Children’s will be able to unify inpatient, outpatient, lab, radiology and home health data, enabling clinicians to access real-time information from a single source.

Additionally, through this collaborative effort with athenahealth and Microsoft, Cook Children’s will enable its patients to connect with Microsoft HealthVault, an online personal health platform that allows individuals to store their health information, or their whole family’s health information, in one security-enhanced location. Using HealthVault, consumers have complete control over their electronic health data and can give permission to physicians and other healthcare providers to view it and give input, supporting more informed decisions around patient care.

As planning with athenahealth and Microsoft progressed, it became clear to Cook Children’s that through athenahealth, these same tools could be made available to physicians nationally. Through athenahealth, Cook Children’s has found a way to allow primary care physicians across the country to electronically refer their patients for virtual consults with the pediatric subspecialists employed by CCPN. Also as part of the collaboration, athenahealth in conjunction with Cook Children’s purchasing organization, PedsPal, will offer preferred pricing for athenahealth’s HER and its revenue cycle management services to PedsPal’s 1,100 affiliated physicians spanning 22 states as part of this larger national clinical connectivity strategy.

“This unique venture with these proactive organizations brings a fresh solution that will be reproducible and sustainable in medical practices across the country at a very low cost,” said Rick Merrill, president and CEO of Cook Children’s Health Care System “Most importantly it gives a child, regardless of their insurance or ability to pay, collaborative care and the starting point for a permanent Internet-accessible medical record. In selecting athenahealth’s clinical and revenue cycle management service offering our physicians will now be instantly connected on a common Web-based platform. Through Amalga UIS, we will be able to integrate our medical center, physician practices, health plan and home health company. Cook Children’s will be uniquely positioned to use leading-edge health information technologies to advance the quality of patient care.”

“Cook Children’s Health Care System continues to demonstrate its leadership position nationally, and athenahealth is thrilled to have been selected to work with them and Microsoft as they deploy our unique ambulatory EHR and revenue cycle management services that we believe will improve both the clinical and financial outcomes for its patients and physicians,” said Jonathan Bush, chairman and CEO of athenahealth. “With all of our clients sharing the same national physician network, athenaNet, Cook Children’s is now in a position to execute on an exciting new clinical connectivity strategy that will benefit children throughout Texas and across the country.”

“We’re excited to collaborate with Cook Children’s and athenahealth to implement a health IT strategy that will help improve the care and outcomes of pediatric patients across the country,” said Steve Shihadeh, vice president of Microsoft’s Health Solutions Group. “By unlocking and connecting the vast amounts of data across the health enterprise with Amalga UIS, we can give the professionals at Cook Children’s the right information at the right time, helping them make optimal decisions for improving the health of children.”

About Cook Children’s Health System

Cook Children’s Health Care System is a not-for-profit, nationally recognized pediatric health care organization comprised of seven entities – a Medical Center, Physician Network, Home Health company, Northeast Hospital, Health Plan, Indemnity Company and Health Foundation. Based in Fort Worth, Texas, the integrated system has more than 60 primary and specialty care offices throughout north Texas. Its service region includes Denton, Hood, Johnson, Parker, Tarrant and Wise counties, with an additional referral area encompassing nearly half the state.

Cook Children’s traces its roots back to 1918, but throughout its continual change and robust growth, it still embraces an inspiring promise – to improve the health of every child in its region through the prevention and treatment of illness, disease and injury. To live up to this promise, Cook Children’s combines the art of caring with the use of leading technology and extraordinary collaboration to provide exceptional care for every child, every day. For more information, please visit

About athenahealth

athenahealth is a leading provider of internet-based business services for physician practices. The Company’s service offerings are based on proprietary web-native practice management and electronic health record (EHR) software, a continuously updated payer knowledge-base and integrated back-office service operations. For more information visit or call (888) 652-8200.

This press release contains forward-looking statements which are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including statements regarding the benefits of athenahealth’s service offerings. These statements are neither promises nor guarantees, and are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond our control, which could cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated in these forward-looking statements. In particular, the risks and uncertainties include, among other things: the risk that our services offerings will not operate in the manner that we expect, due to design flaws, security breaches or otherwise; potential interruptions or delays in our internet-based services offerings; our reliance upon third parties, such as computer hardware, software, data-hosting and internet infrastructure providers, which reliance may result in failures or disruptions in our service offerings; errors or omissions included in our payer and clinical intelligence rules engine and database; and the evolving and complex government regulatory compliance environment in which we and our clients operate. Existing and prospective investors are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof. athenahealth, Inc. undertakes no obligation to update or revise the information contained in this press release, whether as a result of new information, future events or circumstances or otherwise. For additional disclosure regarding these and other risks faced by athenahealth, Inc., see the disclosure contained in our public filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at on Microsoft’s corporate information pages. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may since have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at

Related Posts