FORT WORTH, Texas, and REDMOND, Wash. — July 13, 2009 — Cook Children’s Health Care System has selected the Microsoft Amalga Unified Intelligence System (UIS) 2009 to provide pediatric staff with a near-real-time comprehensive view of patient data. Cook Children’s will connect patient data currently stored in disparate systems to Amalga UIS and Microsoft HealthVault, the personal health application platform, allowing patients and their caregivers to access pertinent health records both inside and outside of the system.
By connecting health data and making it easily available to healthcare professionals and the patients and families they serve, Cook Children’s intends to improve the quality of pediatric care and outcomes while reducing inefficiencies and costs.
Cook Children’s Health Care System comprises a 250-bed hospital, a 350-medical-provider network, a home health operation and a health plan, all focused on serving pediatric patients. The hospital and physician network currently use disconnected information systems, making it difficult for staff to coordinate care efficiently. In addition, doctors and nurses cannot view a patient’s previous encounters within the hospital, as medical and drug records are kept either on paper or in siloed computer systems.
Using Amalga UIS, Cook Children’s staff will be able to quickly access a computer view of a patient’s medical history, particularly important in time-sensitive situations, helping doctors to make fully informed decisions about the patient’s care. Amalga UIS also will help Cook Children’s avoid duplicative tests and procedures, saving time and money.
“Amalga will support our clinicians and administrators to pursue the best possible care for every child in our region,” said Rick Merrill, president and CEO of Cook Children’s Health Care System. “As our patient base continues to grow and the healthcare industry becomes more complex, Amalga has the scalability to grow with us well into the future.”
The health system initially will roll out Amalga UIS to the most critical providers including doctors in the emergency department and the intensive care unit. In the future, Cook Children’s aims to have every physician in its health system using Amalga, as well as administrative staff who will use the product to analyze and optimize how hospital and health system resources are being used.
Amalga also will be used in the Cook Children’s Center for Innovation in Community Health, a groundbreaking clinic that will use phone, e-mail and home care to significantly increase the number of patients it reaches and treats. Cook Children’s plans several creative uses for Amalga throughout the clinic.
“Preventive medicine is of paramount importance for Cook Children’s,” Merrill said. “One example where we hope to apply Amalga to make this happen is feeding weather data into Amalga UIS and using it to alert asthma patients and their families when the environment is causing them to be at risk. We expect practices like this to help prevent medical crises and significantly reduce visits to the emergency room.”
In addition, Cook Children’s will connect its IT systems via Amalga UIS with HealthVault to allow patients’ medical information to travel with them when they outgrow the pediatric system. Even if families never need to access their child’s medical history, future doctors will be alerted to the record in HealthVault and, once permitted access from the patient, can apply the information to future treatment. For the first time, doctors treating patients coming out of Cook Children’s will have a full view of their medical history, rather than just the pieces they locate manually.
“Advanced pediatric care initiatives such as the Center for Innovation in Community Health demonstrate why Cook Children’s is a great partner for Microsoft,” said Steve Shihadeh, vice president, Microsoft Health Solutions Group. “Particularly when dealing with children, it is critical that all family members and caregivers have access to information, because the patients may not be able to advocate for themselves. Cook Children’s understands that improving health requires new thinking, and using Amalga to coordinate care across phone, e-mail, physician offices, hospitals and the home will bring these futuristic ideas to life.”
In addition to improving care, Cook Children’s Health Care System expects Amalga to reduce unnecessary costs, freeing up valuable resources. By transparently tracking publicly provided vaccinations, for example, administrators can ensure that they are not wasting expensive medicine through duplicate doses. Moreover, senior administrators will be able to pinpoint exactly where hospital funds are going, allowing for more in-depth analysis and planning.
Amalga is currently in use at Seattle Children’s Hospital and other renowned U.S. institutions, including El Camino Hospital, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, Johns Hopkins Health System, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute, St. Joseph Health System and the Wisconsin Health Information Exchange.
About Cook Children’s Health Care 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 our 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, visit www.cookchildrens.org.
About Microsoft in Health
Microsoft is committed to improving health around the world through software innovation. Over the past 12 years, Microsoft has steadily increased its investments in health, with a focus on addressing the challenges of health providers, health and social services organizations, payers, consumers, and life sciences companies worldwide. Microsoft closely collaborates with a broad ecosystem of partners and develops its own powerful health solutions, such as Amalga and HealthVault. Together, Microsoft and its industry partners are working to advance a vision of unifying health information and making it more readily available, ensuring the best quality of life and affordable care for everyone.
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 http://www.microsoft.com/presspass 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 http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/contactpr.mspx.