Initiate Identity Hub SoftwareREVIEWER: Sheri Sohltalab, EMPI manager for Sutter Health.

BACKGROUND: Sutter Health is one of the nation's leading not-for-profit networks of community-based healthcare providers, delivering high-quality care in more than 100 northern California communities. It is also the regional leader in infant deliveries, neonatology, orthopedics, pediatrics and cancer care services. Sutter Health supports more than two dozen locally run acute care hospitals as well as physician organizations; medical research facilities; region-wide home health, hospice and occupational health networks; and long-term care centers.

PLATFORMS: We are running on HP ProLiant Servers with Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server.

PROBLEM SOLVED: Sutter Health was looking for an enterprise-wide information infrastructure to tie together business platforms and legacy systems. Initiate Identity Hub software enabled Sutter Health to integrate patient identity and clinical data.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: Prior to implementing the solution from Initiate Systems, Sutter Health was unable to efficiently share patient information. By creating an Enterprise Master Person Index (EMPI) with help of Initiate Systems' customer data hub technology, Sutter Health is able to streamline operations and reduce errors in patient records. Initiate Identity Hub software is able to integrate data across disparate legacy systems without standardized patient IDs. Initiate Systems' customer data hub technology links patient data across all facilities.

STRENGTHS: Initiate Identity Hub software is nonintrusive and runs on an open platform. The Initiate Systems' product enabled Sutter Health to turn its disparate legacy systems into a federated system. The solution allows Sutter Health employees to continue interfacing with the systems familiar to them and the data integration goes on in the background.

WEAKNESSES: If anything, this product is too flexible. This can be good in that it can be configured well for our environment; however, it adds an extra layer of complexity on the setup, configuration and support.

SELECTION CRITERIA: After evaluating several options, Sutter chose Initiate Systems as its EMPI provider of choice based on their knowledge, focus and proven integration with diverse hospital information systems vendors. The Initiate Systems software was chosen for its ability to work in Web-based or legacy system environments. The software supports both system- and facility-level requirements for managing patient identities. Initiate Identity Hub software employs a unique data model that does not require enterprise-level standardization of data, which, in turn, reduces data ownership issues that often arise.

DELIVERABLES: We use the enterprise level identifier assigned by the Initiate Identity Hub to link patients in ancillary systems.

VENDOR SUPPORT: The Initiate people that we work with take pride in their product. This is reflected in their support, whether it be pre- or post-implementation.

DOCUMENTATION: The overall detail of the documentation has had minor improvements in the past two years. These documents are good supplements to working with Initiate's customer support.

Initiate Identity Hub software
Initiate Systems, Inc.
200 West Madison
Suite 2300
Chicago, IL 60606

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