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Healthcare alliance creates massive virtual care community

Clinicians can use data on the network for evidence-based treatments

June 7, 2012 04:33 PM ET

Computerworld - A national healthcare alliance today launched a virtual heathcare community that allows more than 100,000 providers to share best practices, as well as data based on thousands of patient outcomes.

The Premier healthcare alliance's PremierConnect technology network will allow its member physicians and executives in 2,500 hospitals to work together online as one in communities of common interest.

"Health systems today need an integrated look into utilization, costs, efficiency and quality," Michael D. Connelly, CEO of Catholic Health Partners, said in a statement. "With this information, we can further build out the predictive capabilities that will help us find opportunities and enact corrective actions before they affect patients."

Individual health systems can use PremierConnect it to interact with colleagues across all of their care sites, including hospitals, physician offices, and outpatient clinics.

Premier CEO Susan DeVore said that data shared by others on the PremierConnect network enables clinicians to make data-driven, evidence-based medical decisions that improve their performance.

"They'll know which patients are driving undesirable outcomes, which physicians have the highest costs or the poorest performance, and why these scenarios are occurring," she said. "Patients will have confidence that their care is based on proven innovations and best practices from top-performing clinical leaders nationwide. And their providers will understand everything about their care - what drugs they're taking or allergic to, what procedures they've had recently and more."

PremierConnect will integrate Premier's clinical, financial and operational comparative databases, containing one in four patient admissions and close to $43 billion in purchasing data. Premier's quality, safety, labor and supply chain applications will also be accessible in PremierConnect, helping providers make decisions based on a combination of quality, safety and cost information.

"What we've built mirrors what we're trying to do in healthcare - build a system that is coordinated and integrated, where communication is dramatically improved and we aren't unnecessarily repeating work," said Keith J. Figlioli, Premier's senior vice president of healthcare informatics. "It will help eliminate unnecessary care that can compromise safety and add to already expensive bills for both consumers and health systems."

For example, a physician or chief medical officer can monitor clinical performance, access patient-level detail and support government reporting requirements. The information is clearly presented by the website and based on every diagnosis, procedure and patient visit.

A clinical integration executive can segment populations of patients to understand where to focus care management and monitor the effectiveness of improving care while reducing costs. Or an infection preventionist can be alerted to possible harmful events within their system through real-time surveillance. They can also coordinate care with other departments, such as the pharmacy, to ensure the proper drugs are administered.

covers storage, disaster recovery and business continuity, financial services infrastructure and health care IT for Computerworld. Follow Lucas on Twitter at Twitter @lucasmearian or subscribe to Lucas's RSS feed Mearian RSS. His e-mail address is lmearian@computerworld.com.

See more by Lucas Mearian on Computerworld.com.

Read more about Healthcare IT in Computerworld's Healthcare IT Topic Center.



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