PremierConnect Links Doctors, Brings Data Out Of Silos

With the help of Perficient and IBM, Premier healthcare alliance and PremierConnect let physicians share best practices and data.

Michelle McNickle, Associate Editor of InformationWeek Healthcare

October 30, 2012

3 Min Read

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Technology consulting firm Perficient, in partnership with IBM, recently helped launch PremierConnect, a platform that allows members of Premier healthcare alliance to collaborate with each other in communities of "common interest," according to a Perficient press release.

Premier healthcare alliance, a provider-owned "performance improvement" association of more than 2,700 U.S. hospitals and more than 90,000 other healthcare sites, maintains the nation's largest clinical, financial, and outcomes database, as well as information on one in every four patient discharges in the nation. It also includes 2.5 million real-time clinical transactions a day and close to $43 billion in annual purchasing data.

PremierConnect allows clinicians to share data and strategies based on patient outcomes and documented best practices that exist in the alliance. "It delivers the right analytics at the right time in the context of the provider's job, and [it] creates an environment where providers can collaborate and solve issues," the release read.

Matt Castle, director within Perficient's Healthcare National Business Group, said in an interview with InformationWeek Healthcare that the relationship between Perficient and Premier healthcare alliance stemmed from the Perficient's work with Electronic, Inc., which was working with Premier as well back in 2009. By 2010, Perficient and Premier had "developed a strategy and roadmap," Castle said, to get Premier's data out of silos. The data, he said, "wasn't coming together" in the 2,700 U.S. hospitals that Premier managed data for. "They needed to find a way to bring all their data together to better manage population health and care management," he said. "[They needed to] develop a single data warehouse."

Shortly after, the concept of PremierConnect came into play. According to a Perficient press release, with increasing pressure on healthcare organizations to assume risk for populations of patients, sophisticated data analytics that leverage the full spectrum of healthcare data -- from hospital to physician office to home health -- are no longer optional.

[ For the latest development on Meaningful Use, see Meaningful Use Stage 2 Rules Finalized. ]

"Most healthcare organizations have a lot of data in the forms of reports, scorecards, and dashboards," Castle said. "PremierConnect [allows them to] manage that data… [I]t allows for collaboration among hospitals, physicians, and nurses, [as well as], the sharing of ideas and gaining insights from the data." PremierConnect, Castle continued, helps doctors to not have to sift through data and instead makes information more readily available.

When partnering with IBM to get this initiative off the ground, Castle said the two companies had "great synergy." The three organizations take part in a hybrid-like business model, Castle added, allowing Perficient and IBM to partner and act as the "integrator of [Premier's] technology."

John Jenkins, vice president of Perficient's IBM Business Group, said in a release that initiatives are most successful when healthcare organizations partner under a "collaborative model across geographies" that includes physicians and patients in the design of care models. He added, "In partnering with Premier and IBM, our goal was to create a new data model and accountable care solution that gives healthcare providers the ability to be more responsive and provide innovative products that enable members to improve and transform their healthcare delivery systems."

InformationWeek Healthcare brought together eight top IT execs to discuss BYOD, Meaningful Use, accountable care, and other contentious issues. Also in the new, all-digital CIO Roundtable issue: Why use IT systems to help cut medical costs if physicians ignore the cost of the care they provide? (Free with registration.)

About the Author(s)

Michelle McNickle

Associate Editor of InformationWeek Healthcare

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