The Accenture prototype, which works with legacy clinical systems, is a significant step toward building an interoperable, standards-based network. In November 2005, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) awarded a contract to Accenture to develop a prototype network for secure information sharing among three healthcare communities: West Virginia Medical Institute (southern West Virginia), Commonwealth of Kentucky’s Eastern Region Health Community and CareSpark (north-eastern Tennessee and south-western Virginia). This region has a wide variety of clinical systems among the 15 provider organizations that participated in the NHIN prototype, similar in nature to the majority of the U.S.
Accenture’s prototype introduces both common language and data standards and integrates information across the entire healthcare system at the national, regional and provider levels. It enables a single view of a patient’s medical information, drawn from multiple databases, as one combined electronic health record. This approach, which allows the industry to build on existing investments in legacy provider systems, will enable the rapid implementation of a secure infrastructure to facilitate data sharing.
Among the wide-ranging benefits are:
• improved care delivery through access to a "single view" patient record drawn from multiple provider systems
• enhanced national monitoring of healthcare trends and identification of potential epidemics, which can give researchers a head start in responding to bio-threats, pandemics or natural disasters and ultimately in discovering and developing new disease therapies
• advanced regional healthcare provision planning due to more advanced clinical research, public health monitoring and effective care management
“Looking to the future, we see information technology as a critical component of our ability to coordinate and deliver high quality care to patients,” said Carol Steltenkamp, M.D., Chief Medical Information Officer, University of Kentucky HealthCare. “Through our work with the Accenture team on the NHIN prototype, we’ve taken a huge step toward helping patients and their caregivers make informed decisions at the point of care.”
“This prototype represents a flexible, pragmatic approach to facilitating data sharing among the wide variety of IT systems used by healthcare organizations across the nation,” said Brian Kelly, M.D., a partner in Accenture’s Health & Life Sciences practice. “All healthcare providers, regardless of whether they belong to a regional healthcare information exchange or not, now have a model that is flexible enough for them to adopt the technology standards required to participate in a nationwide network.”
Accenture led a consortium of technology vendors in the development of the NHIN prototype. Core aspects of the solution were provided by: Cisco, Initiate Systems, Oracle, Orion Health, Quovadx and Sun. In addition, a number of technology organizations provided fundamental services and components required in the development of the NHIN prototype. These organizations include: Apelon, BEA, CCSI, CGI Federal, Eclipsys, Intellithought, Lucent Glow, Oakland Consulting Group, Reactivity and Red Hat.
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 approximately 146,000 people in 49 countries, the company generated net revenues of US$16.65 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2006. Its home page is www.accenture.com.