IBM, UNC Health Care to launch health information exchange

The deal is the first of many expected out of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) conference in Orlando.

IBM and UNC Health Care have teamed up to launch a new health information exchange to link hospitals and physicians across North Carolina. In addition, IBM is opening a health interoperability lab.

The announcement, the first of many expected out of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) conference in Orlando, illustrates how technology vendors are increasingly targeting the health care industry. With the Federal government pushing health care a bevy of modernization projects are underway.

Terms of the IBM-UNC deal weren't disclosed. Among the key items:

  • UNC Health Care's information exchange is expected to create a template for other states.
  • This exchange will be designed to facilitate everything from appointments to referrals to up-to-date records.
  • Medications and test results will be digitized in the system.
  • The information exchange will be built on IBM's Initiate software and be interoperable with disparate systems throughout North Carolina.

Separately, IBM announced plans to create a health care interoperability lab at its research facility in Chicago. The idea is to design, install, test and validate health care technologies. Big Blue also said it inked a 5-year licensing pact for its Initiate software with Emdeon, which provides medical billing systems.

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