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6/18/2012
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Premier Healthcare Alliance Establishes Virtual Care Platform

PremierConnect, powered by IBM technology, will enable member hospitals and clinics to share patient data and exchange best practices.

8 Health Information Exchanges Lead The Way
8 Health Information Exchanges Lead The Way
(click image for larger for slideshow)
Premier Healthcare Alliance, composed of 2,500+ hospitals and 84,000+ other healthcare sites, recently unveiled a platform for its members that connects more than 100,000 providers, supply chain leaders, and hospital executives to a network that lets them share best practices, data, and strategies based on information from thousands of patient records.

In an interview with InformationWeek Healthcare, Keith Figlioli, senior VP of healthcare informatics at Premier Healthcare Alliance, said PremierConnect, which will go live June 25, supports new ways to deliver care that are required by health reform--including accountable care--that emphasize more clinical integration and healthier outcomes. Individual health systems can use it to connect healthcare information across all their sites, including hospitals, physicians' offices, and outpatient clinics.

Through business intelligence tools, PremierConnect will provide insights into population health management strategies, Figlioli explained. He also said the system will help healthcare system leaders make data-driven, evidence-based decisions that improve performance while making their communities healthier places to live.

According to Figlioli, the data will show which patients are driving undesirable outcomes, which physicians have the highest costs or the poorest performance, and why these scenarios are occurring.

[ Practice management software keeps the medical office running smoothly. For a closer look at KLAS' top-ranked systems, see 10 Top Medical Practice Management Software Systems. ]

"Patients will have confidence that their care is based on proven innovations and best practices from top-performing clinical leaders nationwide. 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," Figlioli told InformationWeek Healthcare. 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.

Regarding the launch of Premier Connect, IBM's Sean Cassidy, director of healthcare information management, told InformationWeek Healthcare, "There is so much transformation happening in healthcare today. The notion that each individual provider can deal with that transformation by themselves is an impossible challenge; it can't happen." He added, "PremierConnect gets to the heart and soul of how providers will transform. It gives them the ability to collaborate and innovate. Healthcare transformation has to be done collectively, not individually."

In a statement, officials provided several examples of how PremierConnect will help those who use the network:

--A supply chain executive can make purchasing decisions based on price, quality, and safety, supported by thousands of outcomes. He or she can also interact with peers nationwide to get feedback on products they're considering for contracts and be alerted when new contracts are launched to easily obtain best pricing.

--A clinical integration executive can segment populations of patients to understand where to focus care management efforts and monitor the effectiveness of medical homes in improving care while reducing costs.

--An infection preventionist can get alerts about possible harmful events within their system through real-time surveillance. He or she can also better coordinate care with other departments, such as pharmacies, to ensure the proper drugs are administered.

--A physician or chief medical officer can monitor clinical performance, understand practice variation, access patient-level detail, and support government reporting requirements.

--A human resources executive can access staffing plans and industry best practices to minimize processes that take too long or require too many employees to complete, or instances when higher-paid employees do work that less-experienced staff could do equally well.

--A Partnership for Patients program director will have access to data collection modules and to a community of other healthcare professionals leading their own local programs.

Get the new, all-digital Healthcare CIO 25 issue of InformationWeek Healthcare. It's our second annual honor roll of the health IT leaders driving healthcare's transformation. (Free registration required.)

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