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April 06, 2009 at 09:00 AM EDT
Microsoft Introduces Next-Generation Amalga Unified Intelligence System

NewYork-Presbyterian uses Microsoft Amalga Unified Intelligence System and Microsoft HealthVault to create connected, patient-centric health system.

REDMOND, Wash., April 6 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Microsoft Corp. today announced Microsoft Amalga Unified Intelligence System (UIS) 2009, the next generation of the enterprise data aggregation platform that enables hospitals to unlock patient data stored in a wide range of systems and make it easily accessible to every authorized member of the team inside and beyond the hospital -- including the patient -- to help them drive real-time improvements in the quality, safety and efficiency of care delivery.

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20000822/MSFTLOGO)

With extensive new features including Microsoft HealthVault connectivity, Amalga Web functionality, preconfigured add-on modules and better IT tools to lower the total cost of ownership, Microsoft Amalga UIS 2009 allows health organizations to better leverage data assets and empower and improve the productivity of their staff. Amalga UIS 2009 helps all healthcare professionals -- from administrators and clinicians to researchers -- to make the most informed, timely decisions by giving them the right information at the right time.

Connecting Care With HealthVault

By providing connectivity with HealthVault, Amalga UIS 2009 helps hospitals improve the patient experience and the efficiency of care delivery by capturing, organizing and presenting patient data throughout the care process, from patient preregistration to discharge and beyond. For example, once authorized by a patient, Amalga UIS 2009 can pull a patient's medication lists, allergies and vital signs such as blood pressure and blood glucose from the patient's HealthVault record into Amalga UIS 2009, saving time for the patient and improving the completeness and accuracy of patient information delivered to clinicians.

Also when authorized by the patient, Amalga UIS 2009 can push patient data generated at the hospital, including test results, medications and discharge summaries, to the patient's HealthVault record via the ASTM Continuity of Care Record (CCR) industry-standard specification. The patient can then use and share this information, as desired, with other clinicians or caregivers. As a result, patients can play a more active role in managing their care together with providers and more easily involve family members in their care as well.

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, ranked sixth in the nation on the U.S. News & World Report Honor Roll of America's Best Hospitals, is using Microsoft Amalga to aggregate a wide range of patient data from multiple silos, including EKG reports, Echo reports, surgery reports, discharge instructions and discharge medications, and send it, using the CCR standard, to the patient's personal HealthVault record, accessible via http://mynyp.org, NewYork-Presbyterian's new patient portal. The patient can store, access, use and share this personal health information provided by NewYork-Presbyterian with other clinicians and specialists anywhere, as determined by the patient, through a security-enhanced personal health portal.

"Hospitals and healthcare organizations can promote better real-time decision-making, and ultimately better health outcomes, by liberating the wealth of patient data stored in siloed systems and putting it in the hands of key stakeholders," said Steve Shihadeh, vice president, Microsoft Health Solutions Group. "When used together, Amalga UIS 2009 and HealthVault, at the direction of the patient, bring this existing information to patients, doctors, family members and caregivers, which helps keep them informed while improving their effectiveness and productivity, as well as their overall experience with the care process."

Remote Access

The new Amalga Web functionality enables clinicians to more easily communicate and exchange authorized patient information generated at the hospital with affiliated referring physicians in the community or across the country. Amalga Web lets credentialed physicians access Amalga data remotely via a Web browser such as Microsoft Internet Explorer, Firefox or Safari and save time and money by eliminating costly faxes, e-mails and phone calls.

New Quality, Research and Imaging Modules

With Amalga UIS 2009, Microsoft is introducing new extensions and modules. Amalga extensions are packaged pre-configurations that allow healthcare organizations to view data to address a specific business need. Amalga modules are commercially available add-on products that address a broad, complex business need. The new Amalga UIS 2009 modules are the following:

  • The Amalga UIS Quality Measures module is designed to help healthcare organizations track and comply with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) core measures, and thus avoid being penalized for noncompliance. The Quality Measures module captures data on all patients as they enter the hospital, determines whether a patient is a core measure candidate, and then enables the hospital to track and measure compliance in real time. As a result, healthcare organizations can drive change and promote compliance before a patient leaves the hospital, rather than after as so often happens.
  • The Amalga UIS Research Foundation module allows researchers to interactively explore clinical and life science data generated by multiple systems from a single location. The Research Foundation module provides a next-generation data repository, ontology management and a query environment for experimental and operational data. Using the Research Foundation module in concert with Amalga UIS 2009, research organizations are able to unite the diverse disciplines and methods with the investigators who will be empowered to discover and transform biological insight into clinical practice.
  • The Amalga UIS Medical Imaging module allows clinicians to unify medical images from all departments within and across multiple institutions and access them in one place with related clinical information. Clinicians can visualize images from multiple DICOM modalities such as CT, MR, US and X-ray. The Medical Imaging module uses server-side processing to facilitate faster delivery and minimize network utilization, providing clinicians with access throughout the enterprise. The storage layer supports centralization of the images or allows customers to leverage their existing storage infrastructure.

Amalga UIS 2009 also features new and improved visualization options with dashboard graphs, providing a simple real-time view of complex data such as patient flow and finances, and a completely redesigned user interface that incorporates the usability advances and look and feel of familiar Microsoft products.

Amalga UIS 2009 is cost effective to deploy and allows healthcare organizations to leverage existing IT investments to quickly build and deploy new solutions, rather than using the typical "rip and replace" approach. Microsoft Amalga is in use at more than 90 hospitals in renowned U.S. healthcare institutions, including MedStar Health, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, the Johns Hopkins Health System, Novant Health, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute, St. Joseph Health System and the Wisconsin Health Information Exchange (WHIE). More information is available at http://www.microsoft.com/amalga.

About Microsoft in Health

Microsoft is committed to improving health around the world through software innovation. Over the past 13 years, Microsoft has steadily increased its investments in health, with a focus on addressing the challenges of health providers, health and social services organizations, payers, consumers and life sciences companies worldwide. Microsoft closely collaborates with a broad ecosystem of partners and develops its own powerful health solutions, such as Amalga and HealthVault. Together, Microsoft and its industry partners are working to advance a vision of unifying health information and making it more readily available, ensuring the best quality of life and affordable care for everyone.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

Addendum Quote Sheet

"In the past, consumers have relied on healthcare providers to tell them what to do about their health and when to do it. Now we're moving into a time where the consumer not only wants to be told about their health, but is also in fact demanding that institutions like ours help them have more control over their care. While many people are optimistic that IT can have a positive impact on our healthcare system, it will require us to do much more than implement electronic medical records. Rather, it will require us to use information in new ways to empower consumers to manage their own healthcare, improve quality of care, and drive improvement in standards of care across the whole healthcare system."

                             --  Aurelia Boyer, R.N.
                                 CIO
                                 NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital

"The vision of the Wisconsin Health Information Exchange is to improve the quality, safety, efficiency and accessibility of healthcare and public health. Our use of Amalga over the past year has provided our stakeholders with the necessary tools to advance that vision. The progress made has established a firm foundation for future growth. We look forward to continuing work with our participating organizations, the community of stakeholders and Microsoft as we expand data types and workflow based use cases. These efforts demonstrate that access to and use of information truly influences how health care works."

                             --  Kim Pemble
                                 Executive Director and CEO
                                 WHIE

"As a test site, we're excited to collaborate with Microsoft on the next generation of Amalga UIS. MedStar Health has already experienced the power of this system, demonstrating the impact of delivering timely data to our healthcare professionals. We expect the upgrade to continue enhancing our performance in many areas, including improved efficiency in the delivery of care and compliance with core measures."

                             --  Catherine Szenczy
                                 Senior Vice President and CIO, MedStar Health
                                 Washington Hospital Center

"Amalga is arguably the most interesting healthcare product that Microsoft is bringing to Europe. Microsoft's European plans for Amalga will be worrying news for its closest competitors, which include dbMotion and Orion Health, but should make interesting reading for its prospective customers."

                             -- Tola Sargeant
                                Practice Leader
                                Ovum

SOURCE Microsoft Corp.

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