HHS picks four for health net prototypes

Accenture, CSC, IBM and Northrop Grumman will develop test architectures for the proposed National Health Information Network.

HHS picks three for health IT effort

Editor's Note:This story was updated Nov. 30 to add Argosy Omnimedia as an IBM subcontractor.

The Department of Health and Human Services awarded contracts for development of prototype Nationwide Health Information Network (NHIN) architectures to four groups led by Accenture, Computer Sciences Corp., IBM and Northrop Grumman.

HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt said the NHIN contracts, which have a total value of $18.6 million, "will bring together technology developers with doctors and hospitals to create innovative state-of-the-art ideas for how health information can be securely shared."

Leavitt added the contracts will help HHS "design an information network that will transform our health care system resulting in higher quality, lower costs, less hassle and better care for American consumers."

The NHIN contracts are the final stage of a two-year HHS effort led by Dr. David Brailer, national coordinator for health information technology. Last month HHS awarded contracts designed to reduce privacy, security and interoperability barriers that have hindered the widespread use of health IT.

Brailer said the NHIN contracts are "the key to information portability for American consumers and are a major step in our national effort to modernize health care delivery." Brailer added that "this is a critical piece of moving health IT from hope to reality."

HHS said each of the four groups group will develop NHIN architecture and a prototype network for secure information sharing among hospitals, laboratories, pharmacies and physicians.

The four NHIN teams include the following organizations:

  • Accenture, whose partners include Apelon, Cisco Systems, CGI-AMS, Creative Computing Solutions, eTech Security Pro, Intellithought, Lucent Glow, Oakland Consulting, Oracle and Quovadx.
  • This group will deploy its NHIN architecture in partnership with the Eastern Kentucky Regional Health Community, Tennessee’s CareSpark and the West Virginia eHealth Initiative.

  • CSC, whose partners include Browsersoft, Business Networks International, the Center for IT Leadership, Connecting for Health, DB Consulting, the eHealth Initiative, Electronic Health Record Vendors Association, Microsoft, the Regenstrief Institute, SiloSmashers and Sun Microsystems.
  • This group’s health care partners include the Indiana Health Information Exchange, the Massachusetts Simplifying Healthcare Among Regional Entities and California’s Mendocino HRE.

  • IBM, whose industry partners include Argosy Omnimedia, Business Innovation, Cisco, HMS Technologies, IDL Solutions and Ingenium.
  • This group’s health care partners are New York’s Taconic Health Information Network and Community and two North Carolina Healthcare Information and Communications Alliance locations.

  • Northrop Grumman, whose industry partners include Air Commander, Axolotl, Client/Server Software Solutions, First Consulting, SphereCom Enterprises, and WebMD.
  • This group’s health care partners are the Santa Cruz Regional Health Information Organization in California, Cincinnati’s HealthBridge and the University Hospitals Health System in Cleveland.

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