IBM, Aetna Intro Cloud Healthcare Decision Support

Collaborative Care Solution lets healthcare providers meet meaningful use, other certification criteria without having to directly manage IT systems.
The first medical facility to sign up for the service is Sharp Community Medical Group. Sharp will be using the Collaborative Care Solution to change the way physicians and nurses access information throughout the hospital group's multiple electronic medical record systems, and will apply advanced analytics and clinical decision support to help give doctors better insight and work more closely among patient care teams.

"The relationship among Sharp Community Medical Group, IBM, and ActiveHealth is really about transforming how we deliver patient care," John Jenrette, CEO for Sharp Community Medical Group, said in a statement.

According to Jenrette, the current state of medicine is one of paper records, fragmentation, and a lack of a proper patient information delivery system. He also said patients are not engaged in their own healthcare and are not connected to their clinical information or their doctors in an effective manner.

"The work we are undertaking will create a system that is patient-centric. It will provide the connection among primary care physicians, specialty physicians, hospitals, and patients to achieve improved clinical outcomes while reducing costs," Jenrette said.

IDC's Young said she'll be looking to see whether the cloud solution has an effect on Sharp's bottom line.

"It will be interesting to watch the impact on Sharp and whether using this cloud computing solution will shift some of their internal priorities and investments, which could set the stage for some interesting outcomes in the market," Young said.

According to IBM, by using Collaborative Care, hospitals and medical practices can connect, analyze, and share a wide range of clinical and administrative data from disparate systems; automate the measurement, tracking, and reporting of clinical quality performance at the patient and practice level; and improve patient care through the use of evidence-based, clinical decision support.

Additionally, the solution can help practices achieve NCQA Level 3 Patient Centered Medical Home status and become Accountable Care Organizations, as well as improve patient engagement through the use of the MyActiveHealth patient portal that provides electronic communications between the health team and its patients.

The new cloud-based solution for healthcare positions IBM to compete with GE Healthcare and Verizon -- two companies that recently announced cloud-based solutions for the healthcare sector.

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