Published on 11 Jun 2012
Validated on 03 Dec 2013
"When I think about my children, I think about what it will mean for them to live in a society that has solved the complexities of the healthcare system so that no matter where they live, no matter what they do, no matter what condition they have, they can have the best possible care." - Keith Figlioli, Senior Vice President, Healthcare Informatics, Premier
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“Siloed” applications made it difficult for Premier healthcare alliance members to connect different data sources and metrics and see the “big picture” of how to drive healthcare transformation. To address this challenge, Premier is implementing a high-performance, integrated warehouse of trusted information that enables its members to analyze data and identify best practices to improve patient health while safely reducing healthcare costs.
Serving approximately 2,900 U.S. community hospitals and 100,000 alternate sites, the Premier healthcare alliance is undertaking a groundbreaking initiative that will help hospitals, doctors and other health providers to identify which treatments benefit patients the most so that no matter where patients live, or are treated, they can be assured the best care.
An industry first decision support platform enables member organizations to gain a “big picture” of cost and quality of care to support evidence-based clinical practices. With comprehensive analysis of clinical, operational and supply chain data from thousands of healthcare organizations, physicians have unprecedented access to best practices and can match patient care protocols with clinical outcomes to improve patient care.
The potential benefits for saving lives, helping people enjoy healthier lives, and reducing healthcare costs are staggering. In one Premier project, approximately 330 participating hospitals saved an estimated 92,000 lives while reducing healthcare spending by USD9.13 billion since its inception in 2008. They also provided approximately 80,000 additional patients with evidence-based care for the clinical conditions assessed.
Sharing and analyzing healthcare information to help physicians identify the best treatments for their patients.
Serving approximately 2,900 U.S. community hospitals and 100,000 alternate sites, the Premier healthcare alliance is undertaking a groundbreaking initiative that will help hospitals, doctors and other health providers to identify which treatments benefit patients the most so that no matter where patients live, or are treated, they can be assured the best care. The potential benefits for saving lives, helping people enjoy healthier lives, and reducing healthcare costs are staggering. In one Premier project, approximately 330 participating hospitals saved an estimated 92,000 lives while reducing healthcare spending by USD9.13 billion since its inception in 2008. They also provided approximately 80,000 additional patients with evidence-based care for the clinical conditions assessed.
Smarter Healthcare: Near real-time insight and collaboration improve patient health
Instrumented: Clinical, operational and supply chain data from member health systems is collected and integrated in near-real time.
Interconnected: A single data model joins the delivery of healthcare services from patient to provider to payer
Intelligent: Comprehensive analytics—spanning clinical, operational and supply chain data—provide a deeper, more correlated view of cost and quality of care, and thus a broader informational platform for evidence-based clinical practices
For Keith J. Figlioli, senior vice president of healthcare informatics at the Premier healthcare alliance, finding a way to deal with fragmented healthcare information isn’t just a job—it’s personal.
“When I think about my children, I think about what it will mean for them to live in a society that has solved the complexities of the healthcare system, so that no matter where they live, no matter what they do, no matter what condition they have, they can have the best possible care,” says Figlioli.
Premier, which serves approximately 2,900 U.S. community hospitals and 100,000 alternate sites, exists to help its members improve the cost and quality of the care they provide the communities they serve. Premier also assists its members to prepare for and stay ahead of health reform, including accountable care and other new models of care delivery and reimbursement.
As Premier executives looked to execute this vision, they recognized that the company’s existing technical infrastructure could not support the new model. Over the years, Premier had developed a series of “siloed” applications, making it difficult for members to connect different data sources and metrics and see the “big picture” of how to drive healthcare transformation.
These platforms and associated software systems also lacked the scalability required to support the massive transaction volumes that were needed. At the same time, as Premier integrates data in new ways, it needs to ensure that the historic high level of data privacy and security is maintained. Moving forward with new technology, Premier had to confirm that it can isolate each healthcare organization’s information to continue to meet patient privacy requirements and prevent unauthorized access to sensitive information.
Bridging the information gap
Premier’s “re-platforming” effort represents groundbreaking work to enable the sharing and analysis of data from its thousands of member organizations. The new data architecture and infrastructure uses IBM software and hardware to deliver trusted information in the right context, at the right time, to users based on their roles.
Using the new platform, called PremierConnect™, Premier members can access data from various clinical, business and compliance-related applications, and connect and share knowledge with other practitioners. From a clinical aspect, they have access to best practices from leading hospitals and healthcare experts across the nation and can match patient care protocols with clinical outcomes to improve patient care.
Applications on the new platform run the gamut from retrospective analysis of patient populations focused on identifying how to reduce readmissions and hospital-acquired conditions to near-real-time identification of patients receiving sub-therapeutic doses of an antibiotic.
Business users within the alliance are able to compare the effectiveness of care locally and with national benchmarks, which will help them improve resource utilization, minimizing waste both in healthcare delivery and in administrative costs. Additionally, this integrated data will help healthcare organizations contract with payors in support of integrated, accountable care.
Premier’s commitment to improving healthcare extends beyond its member organizations. As part of its work, it teamed with IBM to create an integrated set of data models and templates that would help other organizations establish a comprehensive data warehouse of clinical, operational and outcomes information. This data model, called the IBM Healthcare Provider Data Model, includes provider, payer and supply chain data, and can help healthcare organizations provide their staff with accurate and timely information to support the delivery of evidence-based, patient-centric and accountable care.
Journey to Smarter Computing
Fundamental to helping Premier turn its vision into reality is an Information Agenda® strategy that transforms information into a strategic asset that can be leveraged across applications, processes and decisions.
“In its simplest form, Premier’s platform brings together information from all areas of the healthcare system, aggregates it, normalizes it, and benchmarks it, so it impacts performance while the patient is still in the hospital or the physician’s office,” says Figlioli.
With assistance from IBM and IBM Premier Business Partner, Perficient, Inc., the Premier healthcare alliance developed a completely new IT strategy, using a software as a service (SaaS) model based on the IBM Health Integration Framework.
“We wanted a flexible, nimble partner because this is not a cookie-cutter kind of project,” says Figlioli. “Perficient and IBM brought to the table an approach that was best of breed and included a cultural and partnering dimension that was fundamentally different from other vendors.”
The organization’s IT division is building its new infrastructure from the ground up. This includes replacing its existing x86 servers from a variety of hardware vendors with IBM® POWER7® processor-based systems to gain greater performance at a lower cost. In fact, an early pilot showed up to a 50 percent increase in processing power with a reduction in costs.
Additionally, the company is moving its core data warehouse to IBM DB2® pureScale®, which is highly scalable to support the growing amount of data that Premier is collecting from its members. As part of Premier’s platform, DB2 pureScale will help doctors gain the information they need to avoid patient infections that are common in hospitals, and will help pharmacists ensure safe and effective medication use.
Data from facility admission, discharge and transfer (ADT) systems along with departmental systems, such as pharmacy, microbiology and lab information systems, are sent to Premier’s core data warehouse as HL7 messages, with near-real-time processing of this data occurring at a rate of 3,000 transactions per second. With the high performance DB2 data software provides, Premier members can quickly learn of emerging healthcare issues, such as an increased incidence of MRSA (a highly drug-resistant version of staphylococcus aureus bacteria) in a particular area.
Data from IBM DB2 database software is loaded into the IBM PureData™ System for Analytics platform, powered by Netezza® technology, to enable members to conduct advanced analytics faster and easier than was previously possible. IBM Cognos® Business Intelligence is used to help members identify and analyze opportunities and trends across their organizations.
IBM InfoSphere® software is used to acquire, transform and create a single, trusted view of each constituent or entity. The data is then integrated and validated, and clinical or business rules management is applied through WebSphere® ILOG® software (now IBM Operational Decision Manager). These rules can help automatically notify clinicians of critical issues, such as the appropriate dosing of anti-coagulation medication.
IBM security software provides security and service management. Application development is built upon Rational® software and a common user experience and collaboration are provided through IBM Connections software.
- Offers potentially enormous benefits for saving lives, helping people enjoy healthier lives, and reducing healthcare costs. In one Premier project, approximately 330 participating hospitals saved an estimated 92,000 lives while reducing healthcare spending by USD9.13 billion since its inception in 2008.
- Helps providers better identify which treatments will enable their patients to live longer, healthier lives.
- Supports Premier members’ work to address healthcare reform and other legislative requirements.
The inside story: Getting there
To help bring its members closer to an accountable, coordinated care model, Premier needed to position itself not for tomorrow, but for three, five and even 10 years into the future. And this vision required a new way of thinking.
Over the next five years, Premier plans to provide its members with many new applications in support of healthcare reform and other legislative requirements. As capabilities are added, the SaaS model will enable the platform to support its commitment to keep all its hospital members on the same page, and even expand its user community. With its new approach, Premier IT staff can develop, test and launch new applications from a central location to provide users with updates concurrently. This is a lower-cost way to give Premier members an analytics solution with a shorter time to value.
For more information
To learn more about how IBM can help you transform your business, please contact your IBM sales representative or IBM Business Partner.
For more information about Perficient, visit www.perficient.com
For more information about the Premier healthcare alliance, visit: www.premierinc.com
IBM products and services that were used in this case study.
Power 740 AIX Solution Edition, Power 750, Power 770
DB2 Advanced Enterprise Server Edition, FileNet Content Manager, InfoSphere Information Server, InfoSphere DataStage, InfoSphere QualityStage, InfoSphere Master Data Management Server, InfoSphere Information Analyzer, DB2 for Linux, UNIX and Windows, Cognos Business Intelligence, WebSphere Portal, InfoSphere Master Data Management, WebSphere DataPower Appliances, Rational Application Developer, IBM Connections, IBM Web Content Manager, PureData System for Analytics N2001-005, IBM Security Identity Manager, IBM Security Access Manager, InfoSphere Master Data Management Advanced Edition, DB2 pureScale Feature for Enterprise Server Edition, IBM Operational Decision Manager, InfoSphere Master Data Management Standard Edition
Information Agenda Engagement
Footnotes and legal information
© Copyright IBM Corporation 2013 IBM CorporationSoftware Group Route 100 Somers, NY 10589 U.S.A. Produced in the United States of AmericaAugust 2013 IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com, Let’s build a smarter planet, smarter planet, the planet icons, Cognos, DB2, FileNet, Information Agenda, InfoSphere, Power, PureData, pureScale, Rational, and WebSphere are trademarks of International Business Machines Corp., registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. Other product and service names might be trademarks of IBM or other companies. A current list of IBM trademarks is available on the web at “Copyright and trademark information” at ibm.com Netezza is a registered trademark of IBM International Group B.V., an IBM Company. This document is current as of the initial date of publication and may be changed by IBM at any time. Not all offerings are available in every country in which IBM operates. The performance data and client examples cited are presented for illustrative purposes only. Actual performance results may vary depending on specific configurations and operating conditions. It is the user’s responsibility to evaluate and verify the operation of any other products or programs with IBM products and programs. THE INFORMATION IN THIS DOCUMENT IS PROVIDED “AS IS” WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING WITHOUT ANY WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND ANY WARRANTY OR CONDITION OF NON-INFRINGEMENT. IBM products are warranted according to the terms and conditions of the agreements under which they are provided. The client is responsible for ensuring compliance with laws and regulations applicable to it. IBM does not provide legal advice or represent or warrant that its services or products will ensure that the client is in compliance with any law or regulation.