Health IT vendors focus on interoperability

The ECRI Institute and several health IT vendors including TELUS, Orange and RelayHealth are focusing on interoperability through new partnerships and a new white paper. In the paper, ECRI explores the ways that health care providers like hospitals are now becoming megatechnology hubs in response to the massive data and IT infrastructures required to provide care. Vendors are also responding to this shift by partnering technologies to improve interoperability.

Results of the readiness assessment survey conducted last year by ECRI Institute and its strategic partner, s2a Consulting, are included in the paper and reveal that healthcare executives are slow to take action. While 84% of respondents fully understood the need for timely health information exchange, only 54% of the survey respondents indicated that their organizations had formally assessed the degree of interoperability required across their health community.

“Without effective data exchange, providers will be challenged to meet meaningful-use objectives for storing structured data and health information exchange,” cautioned Thomas E. Skorup, FACHE, vice president of applied solutions, ECRI Institute.

RelayHealth and Greenway today announced a partnership focused on this type of data exchange. Both RelayHealth and Greenway offer IT solutions focused on health information exchanges, together the providers will standardize hospital-clinic connectivity implementation and build data rich patient management systems.

The partnership will work out of the box to allow hospitals to seamlessly connect with aligned clinics and providers in order to coordinate care and keep track of patients electronically.

In a similar arrangement, TELUS Health Solutions and Orange have joined forces to develop innovative remote monitoring solutions for patients with chronic diseases. The formal partnership is the result of a successful pilot program launched in France earlier this year.

In this pilot, patients living with chronic kidney disease were selected by a team of professionals from Calydial and AGDUC to take part in a trial using the TELUS and Orange remote patient monitoring (RPM) solution at home. Patients were given a tablet computer, connectivity and software to monitor their vital signs, manage their medication and treatment protocols and provide feedback to their care team. Early positive results have demonstrated the potential to replicate this solution across other institutions and for other chronic diseases.

Orange served as the technical lead using telehealth solutions from TELUS. The partnership is likely to expand to other health care providers through the end of 2012.

‚ÄúTelemedicine has the power to transform the way that healthcare is delivered, and we recognize that partnerships with best-in-class solutions providers are essential to our goals,” said Thierry Zylberberg, executive vice president, Orange Healthcare.