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Health Care

IBM and the SOA Strategy

Published: Thursday, April 3, 2008 - 22:00

(IBM: Armonk, New York) -- Through the use of service oriented architecture (SOA), health care providers, clinics, and hospitals are set to improve productivity, increase quality, and reduce costs.

Sponsored by IBM and a select group of business partners, the health care strategy is based on the adoption of a SOA approach and the use of open standards and standards-based electronic health records to provide secure and private exchanges of records between authorized health care provider and health care payer organizations.

“Healthcare is going through a fundamental transformation where innovation will be driven by a health care provider’s ability to achieve true interoperability,” says Janet Dillione, CEO of the Health Services business unit of Siemens Medical Solutions. “IBM has based its SOA health care strategy on open standards, which is similar to our strategy. At Siemens, SOA is a core enabler of workflow technology that assists health care organizations in realizing the agility, interoperability, and efficiencies needed to drive health care quality up and costs down. This strategy has served as a guiding principle in our Soarian development efforts.”

IBM’s SOA strategy incorporates aspects of several industry-leading product portfolios including WebSphere, Lotus, Tivoli, Rational, and Information Management and is a critical component of IBM’s information on demand initiative. These portfolios have been further strengthened by a series of key acquisitions such as Cognos, ISS, and Watchfire.

Clients who install infrastructures based on this strategy can improve the quality of health care delivered to their patents while reducing the costs and expenses of providing these health care services. SOA also allows these health care providers to increase their agility to meet future changes as the health care industry adopts new regulations or embraces new methodologies in the delivery of care.

One example of interoperability and open standards is DirectConnect, an internal initiative to provide a streamlined workflow to clinicians within Catholic Healthcare West (CHW), the eighth largest hospital system in the nation and the largest nonprofit hospital provider in California. Together, IBM teamed with Carefx to deliver a portal-based, aggregate view of real-time, patient-centric data that connects CHW clinicians to the information necessary to deliver care.

“DirectConnect’s ability to aggregate patient data in one comprehensive and complete view improves patient care delivery and the work lives of our physicians,” says Terry Ambus, M.D., chief of staff at Mercy Gilbert Medical Center and Chandler Regional Hospital. “With instant access to essential information such as vital signs, laboratory results, radiology exams, and medication lists, our health care professionals can make more informed decisions and concentrate time on direct patient interaction.”

For further information, visit www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/23582.wss.


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IBM develops, provides, and supports IT systems, software solutions (e.g., asset management, cloud computing, business process management), and offers many services for business (e.g., analytics, strategy, commerce consulting), IT (e.g., data center, cloud, integrated communications), outsourcing (e.g., for IT infrastructure, application management), and consulting alliances, project financing, IT services financing, and more. IBM creates solutions to find business partners, developer resources, and global alliances.