REVIEWER: Liesa Jenkins, executive director, CareSpark.

BACKGROUND: CareSpark is a nonprofit health information exchange (HIE) serving the central Appalachian region, working to improve health through the collaborative use of health information. The CareSpark region includes 17 counties in the Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia area, with approximately 750,000 residents, 18 hospitals and 1,200 physicians. CareSpark is developing a secure network that allows physician offices, hospitals, public health departments, pharmacies, laboratories, decision support services and others to communicate electronically in order to improve patient care and safety and reduce costs.

HARDWARE PLATFORMS: Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Oracle 10g.

PROBLEM SOLVED: The lack of accurate, complete patient information on a timely basis in settings such as an emergency department leads to medical errors that threaten patient health and safety as well as reduces the effective operation of health care institutions. A consolidated view of the patient data wasn’t possible because data has traditionally been fragmented and isolated across various provider systems in the region. The problem was solved by Initiate Systems Identity Hub software through its ability to match and link patient records from many provider systems. This real-time matching and linking offers medical professionals additional patient data, reducing the likelihood of medical errors and providing more timely access to information with appropriate patient safeguards for privacy and security.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: Data dispersed across multiple provider systems is now being linked and matched by Initiate Identity Hub software. The data can reside in various source systems or at CareSpark. The load of data is maintained on a real-time basis through demographic feeds from the provider systems to CareSpark’s Initiate Identity Hub software through the Quovadx Cloverleaf Integration Services, helping to keep patient data current. The software uses a sophisticated algorithm for analyzing the initial and ongoing data to create a comprehensive view of the patient record. By enabling the identification of a patient and matching the patient’s records across a number of health care facilities, CareSpark can create a more complete view of the medical data for the patient.

STRENGTHS: The accuracy of the Initiate Identity Hub Software is a big strength, critical to patient and stakeholder acceptance of the data sharing that will produce better health care for all. Also, the software is fast and scales to CareSpark’s needs as the system’s capacity grows to support the entire regional population and provider organizations. Most importantly, the software is interoperable with many different platforms, databases, messaging standards and record types in use across the health care ecosystem, whether the patient visited a primary care physician, an emergency department or a pharmacy. Through CareSpark, a participating physician at any point of care in the Central Appalachian region can access more patient information more quickly than ever before.

WEAKNESSES: Reporting capabilities for our stakeholders will be important to our goal of monitoring regional health outcomes. Soon we will test the waters with how to design and deliver customer reports based upon the Business Objects capability.

SELECTION CRITERIA: Compared to other solutions, we thought that the Initiate Identity Hub software delivered optimum results in terms of data integrity, cost, audit and security controls. It conformed to HIPAA and other regulations as well as evolving health care standards for interoperability - key criteria for our consideration. We were impressed by the numerous examples of robust end-user health care customers. A further advantage was the existing partnership with Quovadx and other technology vendors that CareSpark has chosen for components of our modular plug-and-play architecture.

DELIVERABLES: The Initiate Identity Hub delivers a single, comprehensive view of the patient demographic data across the stakeholders of the CareSpark network, the “key” to the patient data available, and demographic information critical to CareSpark reporting.

VENDOR SUPPORT: Initiate as the software vendor, Quovadx as the implementation vendor and the rest of our business partners have all worked together to form a team that has remained flexible to help us achieve our end objective.

DOCUMENTATION: Standard Initiate documentation includes operator, user, support and technical documentation.

Initiate Identity Hub
Initiate Systems, Inc.
200 W. Madison Street
Suite 2300
Chicago, IL 60606
(312) 759-5030

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