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Microsoft Solutions to Drive Healthcare Technology in Massachusetts.

Microsoft and Massachusetts eHealth Collaborative Implement Tech Upgrades for Healthcare Systems

WALTHAM, Mass. -- Today the Massachusetts eHealth Collaborative (MAeHC) announced that Microsoft will provide support for the MAeHC pilot projects to deliver secure access to electronic health records for approximately 220 medical locations and 160 medical practices in the communities of Brockton, Newburyport, and North Adams.

"We are pleased to announce our collaboration with Microsoft to drive the next generation of healthcare technology systems right here in the state of Massachusetts," said Micky Tripathi, chief executive officer of the Massachusetts eHealth Collaborative, a non-profit organization dedicated to facilitating the adoption of information technology to improve the quality, safety and efficiency of healthcare in the state. "We are breaking new ground in deployment of community-wide health care technology," noted Mr. Tripathi, "and well-developed, off-the-shelf products from Microsoft have helped enormously in managing the risk of the project and dramatically increasing our odds of success."

The MAeHC infrastructure will use prototype architecture that utilizes the Microsoft Windows operating system, Server systems and software, including the latest Microsoft Office Suite.

"From a doctor's standpoint, the ability to have accurate and timely information to deliver healthcare is absolutely critical," said Dr. Anthony Smeglin, a pulmonologist with Williamstown Medical Associates in North Adams. "The work that Microsoft and the Massachusetts eHealth Collaborative are doing will most certainly give us better tools to deliver the high quality healthcare that our patients need and demand."

MAeHC and Microsoft expect the collaboration will improve the quality, safety and affordability of healthcare systems across Massachusetts, resulting in better healthcare for patients in these communities. A successful adoption of the modern information technology sponsored by MAeHC, including electronic health records and access to point-of-care clinical information, could eventually result in statewide adoption of the system.

"Microsoft is delighted to join the MAeHC in improving the healthcare technology infrastructure across all of Massachusetts, and in making medical care safer, more accurate and more efficient for the state's residents," said Steve Aylward, general manager of Microsoft's healthcare and life sciences industry. "The complete end-to-end technology system will place the power of more accurate data right where it belongs - at the fingertips of Massachusetts doctors and nurses for their patients' welfare."

The communities that were selected to participate in the MAeHC pilot have embarked on a 36-month project to study and demonstrate the effectiveness and practicality of implementing electronic health records in community settings. The goals are to improve the quality, safety and cost-effectiveness of care. Connecting the various physicians' offices and hospitals within these communities will continue throughout the summer of 2007. During the fall, an initial evaluation of the work to date will occur providing the opportunity for both physician and patient feedback on the system.

"Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts is proud to collaborate with Microsoft and the MAeHC to take the all-important first step in advancing our state's healthcare system by designing and implementing technology that puts patients first," said Carl Ascenzo, Chief Information Officer of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, which provided the initial investment to launch the MAeHC initiative.

The three pilot communities are demonstrating leadership, energy and commitment while putting these technologies to test, and are also providing invaluable practical guidance about how to overcome the major barriers that have prevented universal adoption up until now. MAeHC's goal is to extend the lessons learned from these pilot projects to facilitate rapid state-wide adoption of these critical technologies.

About the Massachusetts eHealth Collaborative

The Massachusetts eHealth Collaborative was formed in 2004 as an initiative of the physician community to bring together the state's major health care stakeholders for the purpose of establishing an EHR system that would enhance the quality, efficiency and safety of care in Massachusetts. The Collaborative is fortunate to have a $50 million commitment from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts to fund its demonstration project phase. By pooling the resources, talent, and experience of its 34 member organizations and participating pilot communities, the Collaborative hopes to achieve a major leap forward in realizing its visions of better care for the citizens of the Commonwealth. For more information, visit www.MAeHC.org.

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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Nov 3, 2006
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