Caritas Christi Health Care Partners With Microsoft to Connect Physicians and Patients
Oct. 14, 2009
Microsoft Amalga and HealthVault are part of an extensive data strategy designed to improve care delivery and reduce costs.

BOSTON and REDMOND, Wash. — Oct. 14, 2009 — Caritas Christi Health Care, New England’s largest community-based hospital network, has entered into a far-reaching agreement to use Microsoft Corp. health solutions, including Microsoft Amalga Unified Intelligence System (UIS) and Microsoft HealthVault, as the underpinning of an extensive system-wide data and patient relationship strategy designed to improve the health and quality of care for its 1 million patients while reducing overall healthcare costs.

“The future of healthcare is in providing world-class health care to patients in the communities in which they live — not in having them travel to distant healthcare settings,” said Ralph de la Torre, M.D., CEO of Caritas Christi Health Care. “Our relationship with Microsoft will use technology to integrate our healthcare delivery system, and accelerate our mission of using the full leverage of our six hospitals and 13,000 employees to deliver world-class, community-based care.”

Caritas has selected Amalga UIS to unlock and aggregate patient data currently stored across multiple independent systems, providing physicians with a real-time and complete picture of a patient’s medical history at the point of care. In addition, Caritas Christi will help enable patients in its communities to take greater control of their health and wellness by delivering unprecedented access to their personal health data both inside and outside the hospital using Microsoft HealthVault, the personal health information platform.

“At Caritas Christi, we believe that transforming the healthcare system and empowering patients and physicians is dependent upon the free flow of information, whether it’s used at the point of care or in the patient’s daily life,” said Todd Rothenhaus, M.D., senior vice president and chief information officer, Caritas Christi Health Care. “We view our adoption of Amalga and HealthVault as strategic drivers that will help us achieve our core goals of empowering patients and their caregivers, advancing data interoperability, and ensuring better health outcomes at a lower cost, while at the same time providing flexibility to react and respond to changing industry requirements.”

Serving 55 communities across Massachusetts and Rhode Island, Caritas Christi was in search of a vehicle to integrate hundreds of clinical and administrative systems housed across seven corporate datacenters in six hospitals. Caritas recognized the need to solve data challenges faced by many health systems, including inadequate tools for reporting and analysis, difficulty extracting data for reuse over time, and challenges connecting critical patient data stored in multiple systems.

To address these needs, Caritas Christi selected Amalga UIS to provide physicians and staff members with a single point of access to all data stored across its many systems, resulting in a comprehensive view of the patient and the broader populations they serve.

In addition, as part of its patient empowerment strategy, Caritas will enable patients and caregivers to access and store their personal health information generated at the hospital and physician offices, including medical summary data, provider information, appointments, and insurance and billing information — all through HealthVault. Patients can then share this information with physicians, family members or anyone they choose, as well as use the information in a wide range of personal health and wellness applications connected to HealthVault.

Caritas Christi Health Care will also implement Amalga UIS Quality Measures module to facilitate compliance with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ core quality measures. The Quality Measures module captures data on all patients as they enter the hospital and determines whether a patient is a core measurement candidate, allowing the hospital to track and measure compliance in near to real time.

“While hospitals across the country are starting to adopt health IT to obtain funding and meet looming requirements, we’re seeing market leaders emerge from the pack by taking a strategic approach to meaningful health IT use,” said Steve Shihadeh, vice president, Microsoft Health Solutions Group. “A prime example is Caritas Christi Health Care. They have created a strategy that centers on the need to connect people and information in more effective ways to achieve overall care and cost goals and ultimately improve outcomes. We’re thrilled that Caritas Christi has selected Amalga and HealthVault as the technology platforms to get there.”

About Caritas Christi Health Care

With over 13,000 employees serving over 600,000 patients annually in 85 communities, Caritas Christi is the largest community based health care system in New England and the 10th largest employer in Massachusetts. Caritas Christi is a regional health system of compassionate caregivers that demonstrates excellence in service, research and education. Hospitals in the system include Saint Anne’s in Fall River, Holy Family Hospital in Methuen, St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center in Brighton, Norwood Hospital in Norwood, Carney Hospital in Dorchester, and Good Samaritan Medical Center in Brockton.

About Microsoft in Health

Microsoft is committed to improving health around the world through software innovation. Over the past 12 years, Microsoft has steadily increased its investments in health, with a focus on addressing the challenges of health providers, health and social services organizations, payers, consumers, and life sciences companies worldwide. Microsoft closely collaborates with a broad ecosystem of partners and develops its own powerful health solutions, such as Amalga and HealthVault. Together, Microsoft and its industry partners are working to advance a vision of unifying health information and making it more readily available, ensuring the best quality of life and affordable care for everyone.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

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