EHR and Health IT Consulting
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EHR and Health IT Consulting
Technical Doctor's insights and information collated from various sources on EHR selection, EHR implementation, EMR relevance for providers and decision makers
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IBM Watson Health, Epic and Mayo Clinic to Unlock New Insights from EHRs

IBM Watson Health, Epic and Mayo Clinic to Unlock New Insights from EHRs | EHR and Health IT Consulting | Scoop.it

IBM Watson Health (NYSE: IBM) announcedthat it is collaborating with Epic and Mayo Clinic to advance patient health by applying the cognitive computing capabilities of Watson to Electronic Health Records (EHRs).


As Watson’s capabilities are applied to EHRs, patients and providers benefit from more rapid and thorough analysis of the medical factors that could impact an individual’s health and wellness.

Epic has more than 350 customers – some of the largest and most-recognized healthcare systems in the world – and they exchanged more than 80 million medical records in the last 12 months, both within and outside the Epic community. Interoperability with Watson will enable these institutions to apply the cognitive capabilities of Watson to these records through secure, cloud-based Watson services, providing greater clinical insight to help personalize healthcare.


Together, Watson and Epic software could be used to develop patient treatment protocols, personalize patient management for chronic conditions, and intelligently assist doctors and nurses by providing relevant evidence from the worldwide body of medical knowledge, putting new insight into the hands of clinical staff. Providers will be able to share patient-specific data with Watson in real time, within workflows, allowing Watson to bring forth critical evidence from medical literature and case studies that are most relevant to the patient’s care.


Epic plans to embed Watson’s cognitive computing capabilities into its advanced decision support offerings through the use of open standards, including Health Level -7 (HL7) Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). Connecting through Epic’s open API, the two systems will extend clinician expertise and help caregivers access knowledge more quickly.

“Accessing Watson’s virtual brainpower from the Epic platform is energizing from a creative standpoint,” said Epic president, Carl Dvorak. “We are bringing another level of cognitive computing and augmented intelligence to mainstream healthcare, to improve safety and outcomes for patients globally.”


“Building on our recent announcement of IBM Watson Health, we are collaborating with Epic and Mayo Clinic in another important validation of the potential of Watson to be used broadly across the healthcare industry,” said Mike Rhodin, senior vice president, IBM Watson. “This is just the first step in our vision to bring more personalized care to individual patients by connecting traditional sources of patient information with the growing pools of dynamic and constantly growing healthcare information.”


IBM and Mayo Clinic are already working together to pioneer cognitive computing in clinical trials matching for cancer patients. Watson’s speed and accuracy allows physicians to enroll patients more quickly in the clinical trials that best meet individual patient needs. Over one million patients are seen at Mayo Clinic each year and more than 1,000 clinical trials are available to match patients to at any given time.

“Patients need answers, and Watson helps provide them quickly and more thoroughly. We are excited by Watson’s potential to efficiently provide clinical trials information at the point of care,” said Dr. Steven Alberts, Mayo Clinic oncologist.


IBM Watson: Pioneering a New Era of Computing


Watson is the first commercially available cognitive computing capability representing a new era in computing. The system, delivered through the cloud, analyzes high volumes of data, understands complex questions posed in natural language, and proposes evidence-based answers. Watson continuously learns, gaining in value and knowledge over time, from previous interactions. With the help of Watson, developers and partners are building apps and services that harness the power of cognitive computing to transform industries, help professionals do their jobs better, and solve important challenges.

IBM continues to build on its strengths in cognitive computing, analytics, security and cloud with IBM Watson Health and the Watson Health Cloud platform. The unit is helping improve the ability of doctors, researchers and insurers to innovate by surfacing new insights from the massive amounts of personal health data being created daily. The Watson Health Cloud allows this information to be anonymized, shared and combined with a dynamic and constantly growing aggregated view of clinical, research and social health data.


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IBM and Epic Prep for Multi Billion Dollar DoD EHR Contract | Hospital EMR and EHR

IBM and Epic Prep for Multi Billion Dollar DoD EHR Contract | Hospital EMR and EHR | EHR and Health IT Consulting | Scoop.it

In this recent Nextgov article, they talk about what Team IBM/Epic are doing to prepare for the massive bid:

On Wednesday, IBM and Epic raised the bar in their bidding strategy, announcing the formation of an advisory group of leading experts in large, successful EHR integrations to advise the companies on how to manage the overhaul — if they should win the contract, of course.

The advisory group’s creation was included as part of IBM and Epic’s bid package, according to Andy Maner, managing partner for IBM’s federal practice.

In a press briefing at IBM’s Washington, D.C., offices, Maner emphasized the importance of soliciting advice and insight from the group. Members of the advisory board include health care organizations, such as the American Medical Informatics Association, Duke University Health System and School of Medicine, Mercy Health, Sentara Healthcare and the Yale-New Haven Hospital.

Add this new advisory group to the report that Epic and IBM set up a DoD hardened Epic implementation environment and you can see how seriously they’re taking their bid. Here’s a short quote from that report:

Epic President Carl Dvorak explained the early move will also help test the performance of an Epic system on a data center and network that meets Defense Information Systems Agency guidelines for security. An IBM spokesperson told FCW that testing on the Epic system has been ongoing since November 2014.

As we noted in our last article, 2015’s going to be an exciting year for EHR as this $11+ billion EHR contract gets handed out. What do you think of Team IBM/Epic’s chances?



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Google on board for DoD contract bid

Google on board for DoD contract bid | EHR and Health IT Consulting | Scoop.it

Google is a key contender – part of the PwC team – bidding on the massive 10-year federal contract to build an electronic health record system for the Department of Defense. PwC announced the collaboration with Google Thursday.

Google had been part of the team from the start, Dan Garrett, PwC's health IT leader, told Healthcare IT News.

"They were part of our submission in our original proposal," he said. "Since the proposal, we've also cemented a broader relationship between the two firms. And, we thought it was appropriate now to make the rest of the world aware of the submission that we had made."

"Google provides us with another whole layer of options from an infrastructure perspective." Garrett said. "You have everything from work management, storage, search engines, security, cloud – a whole level of infrastructure that we can pick from as the industry changes and innovation continues to come into the space."

Besides Google, the main players on the PwC team include General Dynamics Information Technology, DSS Inc. and Medsphere, whose commercial OpenVista EHR, an open source offering, was derived from the VistA-EHR, built by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The other three teams that submitted bids are:

  • IBM and Epic
  • Computer Sciences Corp., partnered with HP and Allscripts
  • Cerner, Leidos, Accenture Federal and Intermountain Healthcare

Formally named the Department of Defense Healthcare Management Systems Modernization Electronic Health Record contract – DHMSM, for short, the DoD award could pay as much as $11.3 billion over 10 years. DoD is expected to award the contact this June.

As the clock ticks toward the anticipated verdict, the contenders have released more information on their bids. Epic, typically silent about any of its doings, last week joined its partner, IBM, to reveal it had assembled a team of advisors from some of the most recognizable health system names in healthcare, among them Kaiser Permanente and Partners HealthCare.


The PwC proposal is called the Defense Operational Readiness Health System. Garrett refers to it as DORHS.

PwC's interest in Google is not limited to the DoD contract. PWC and Google also recently forged a business relationship in which they will team up to help companies use the cloud and build trust in it.

“Google is known for its expertise in innovative, secure and open technologies, and the power of Internet scale, Scott McIntyre, PwC’s clobal and U.S. public sector leader, said in a statement. “Google can assist us in delivering a cost-effective and efficient solution to serve the healthcare needs of our military.”

“Our solution is engineered to provide flexibility, cost effectiveness and a platform that will stand the test of time, and does not rely on unproven technologies or proprietary computing platforms,” said Garrett. "Consistent quality is what we were looking for, true open systems, true interoperability and true open source systems."

DORHS’ flexibility, he added, would  help prevent the federal government from being locked into a single technology, avoiding “vendor lock” and “innovation lag” which can occur with proprietary EHR and technology companies.

"Google is a great example of how we're going to prevent that," Garrett said. "With Google on our team, the DoD will be able to tap in to the latest and greatest infrastructure innovation for the duration of those 10 years,."

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