TULSA, OK and ARMONK, NY - 05 Apr 2009: The University of Oklahoma School of Community Medicine and IBM (NYSE: IBM) announced today they will build a primary-care practice model that will meet President Obama's vision of an information-based, connected healthcare system. The project will begin at the physician's practice level and will include the digital health information technologies required to help doctors deliver coordinated and patient-centered care.
"All Oklahomans can be proud that, after looking at the qualifications of medical schools in the nation, IBM selected the University of Oklahoma as its partner," said OU President David Boren.
This new program, which marks IBM's first "medical home" pilot with a medical school, includes 355 physicians and connects clinical data from 11 different EMRs between hospitals, physician offices, local ambulances, fire departments and patients.
The U.S. Healthcare system faces many communications challenges. The average Medicare patient sees more than five different providers each year. This means that potentially critical clinical information is stored in five different sets of medical charts. Even if each of the doctors has an electronic medical record system, the data will remain locked in separate silos, preventing the providers from effectively coordinating patient care beyond the boundaries of their own practices.
Increasingly, physicians are seeking ways to efficiently and affordably jumpstart the use of interconnected and digitized healthcare systems to help them reform a fractured healthcare system. IBM and OU will produce a working model of an EMR-enabled medical home practice that can be adopted by health systems and primary care practices across the United States to provide patients with the personalized, information-based care needed to improve healthcare delivery.
IBM will bring to the collaboration its secure information-exchange technologies, electronic medical records (EMRs) enabled with patient-centered medical home (PCMH) processes, and electronic health record (EHR) portals for use by patients, physicians, caregivers and health insurers.
In addition, OU and IBM will also collaborate to design and implement new health analytics platforms to derive value from the clinical data contained in interconnected EMRs. The health analytics solutions will use IBM's open standards-based technology and will serve as a way to store, analyze and capitalize on OU's clinical, financial, operational, claims, genomic and other medical data.
"Our new relationship with OU reflects our deep commitment to drive comprehensive Healthcare reform through smarter healthcare solutions. Because OU stands committed to PCMH in its curriculum, research and practice, they make an ideal partner in our shared mission to build smarter healthcare systems," said Robert Merkel, IBM Healthcare Global Industry Leader. "We look forward to marrying OU's strengths in family medicine and medical home best practices with IBM's business transformation capabilities. By enabling information exchange and improving collaboration, we will empower physicians and patients to drive healthcare innovation within Oklahoma.and across our nation."
OU and IBM will also team in research projects to solve critical issues such as: the effects of human factors and technology upon each other in health care delivery settings; how patients can most efficiently communicate with their physicians; how patients can better manage their medical challenges using connected EMR technology; and how technology can strengthen the patient-doctor relationship. In addition to data management, data integration, patient privacy and patient safety will also be addressed in this research effort.
About the University of Oklahoma:
Thanks to a $50 million gift from the George Kaiser Family Foundation in February 2008, The OU College of Medicine at OU-Tulsa changed its focus and was renamed the OU School of Community Medicine. It is the first formally named School of Community Medicine in the nation. The OU School of Community Medicine's explicit purpose is to improve the overall health status of underserved communities, both rural and urban, by providing additional community-based medical student education programs and resident training, and to increase the number of physician graduates.
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