Adam Gartenberg's Blog

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IBM fosters healthcare information sharing with Initiate Systems acquisition


IBM today announced a definitive agreement to acquire Initiate Systems, a privately held company that helps healthcare providers and governments overcome the challenge of integrating and sharing accurate information.  

This is a significant challenge for these organizations, as they struggle with inconsistent, inaccurate or incomplete data spread across hundreds of sources spanning hospitals, doctors' offices, insurance providers, and government organizations.

From the press release:

In healthcare, hospitals, integrated delivery networks, insurers and governments are seeking to create systems that share a consistent view of all critical information as a means of improving both patient health and efficiency. Bringing together data from separate systems managed by hospitals, doctors' offices and payers is a daunting task. Initiate has helped clients meet this challenge at more than 2,400 healthcare sites, over 40 health information exchanges and multiple government health systems around the world.

The software speeds the adoption and exchange of electronic medical records. With easier access to accurate information, medical professionals can recognize patients at any facility within a health network with access to complete medical histories of patients, resulting in more timely and better informed patient care. Like IBM, Initiate is committed to industry standards and its technologies support relevant healthcare regulations and standards including HL7 and HIPAA.


One of  Initiate's clients is the North Dakota Department of Human Services (DHS), which helps residents of all ages with critical services such as Medicaid and child welfare programs.  Like many other government agencies, DHS's information was dispersed across several disconnected data repositories. DHS is now using Initiate's technology to access a single view of all its clients, allowing the agency to share information across its programs and enabling them to increase citizen enrollment, speed the process of determining eligibility and more accurately measure program effectiveness.

Healthcare and life sciences are a multi-billion dollar business for IBM, which has worked on more than 3,000 healthcare transformation initiatives ranging from small hospitals to national healthcare projects.  IBM has more than 4,000 employees dedicated to healthcare and a network of more than 1,800 business partners.

Initiate's employees will be joining IBM's Information Management software organization, and I'd like to join my colleagues in welcoming them to IBM!

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