Companies join forces to help healthcare organizations access, integrate and share information
NEW YORK and WALLDORF, Germany; Sept. 20, 2006 – Accenture and SAP AG today announced a global agreement to co-develop a collaborative health network (CHN) solution, which is designed to help healthcare organizations improve patient care by streamlining the way they access, integrate and share information.
Under this agreement, the CHN solution will be based on SAP NetWeaver® and designed to help the industry enhance quality of care and control healthcare costs by providing an infrastructure to link a range of information and data. The solution will also help organizations to maintain reliable, accurate electronic health records that are accessible quickly by multiple parties. It will use enterprise service-oriented architecture (enterprise SOA) to help reduce IT costs and enable automated collaborative processes among industry participants—including healthcare providers, health insurance companies, public health authorities, pharmaceutical companies, physicians and pharmacies.
Industry experts expect the global healthcare industry to continue on its path of rapid technological advances. Gartner research projects that with a 4.6 percent increase in IT spending, healthcare will lead all other industry sectors in the growth of information technology in 2006. 
“Today, government-driven initiatives are underway to improve healthcare delivery through collaboration between providers, insurance payers, policy makers and pharmaceutical companies,” said Thomas Shirk, president, SAP Global Public Services. “CHNs are the highways on which healthcare information will flow in the future. Together with Accenture, we look forward to delivering a comprehensive healthcare network solution, which integrates people, information, business processes, and technology standards to create collaboration beyond organizational boundaries.”
SAP and Accenture will work together to market, support and service the new solution. The two companies expect the first release of the solution to be available mid-2007. As appropriate, the CHN solution will also be a component of the Accenture Electronic Health Record (EHR) Connection Platform, the company’s global approach to providing information management and exchange services to the healthcare industry. SAP has more than 15 years of experience in the healthcare industry, and the SAP for Healthcare solution is installed in more than 800 sites throughout the world.
“As the industry moves into the digital age, healthcare organizations must streamline their approaches to information sharing by collaborating and organizing around patient needs,” said Ken Lacey, global managing partner of Accenture’s Health & Life Sciences practice. “By combining our strengths, SAP and Accenture will provide a key component to support the level of collaboration necessary to improve the accessibility, quality and affordability of healthcare.”
This collaborative effort will utilize the Accenture Innovation Center for SAP NetWeaver, located at SAP’s development headquarters in Walldorf, Germany. This is Accenture’s global hub for developing and delivering next-generation SAP-based solutions. The center leverages predefined development architecture templates, Accenture’s skilled resources and close collaboration with global Accenture Delivery Centers to accelerate delivery of Accenture solutions with SAP NetWeaver.
Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company. Committed to delivering innovation, Accenture collaborates with its clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments. With deep industry and business process expertise, broad global resources and a proven track record, Accenture can mobilize the right people, skills and technologies to help clients improve their performance. With more than 133,000 people in 48 countries, the company generated net revenues of US$15.55 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2005. Its home page is www.accenture.com.
SAP is the world’s leading provider of business software*. Today, more than 34,600 customers in more than 120 countries run SAP® applications—from distinct solutions addressing the needs of small and midsize enterprises to suite offerings for global organizations. Powered by the SAP NetWeaver® platform to drive innovation and enable business change, SAP software helps enterprises of all sizes around the world improve customer relationships, enhance partner collaboration and create efficiencies across their supply chains and business operations. SAP solution portfolios support the unique business processes of more than 25 industries, including high tech, retail, financial services, healthcare and the public sector. With subsidiaries in more than 50 countries, the company is listed on several exchanges, including the Frankfurt stock exchange and NYSE under the symbol “SAP.” (Additional information at http://www.sap.com)
(*) SAP defines business software as comprising enterprise resource planning and related applications such as supply chain management, customer relationship management, product life-cycle management and supplier relationship management.
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 Dataquest Alert: Financial Services and Healthcare Industries Lead IT Five-Year Spending Growth, Lovelock, et al., 30 August 2006