InterSystems software targets RHIOs

InterSystems later this year will release a production version of a data exchange software product targeting Regional Health Information Organizations (RHIOs).

The Cambridge, Mass. company in May announced its Ensemble HIE (health information exchange), which layers healthcare functionality on top of the company's Ensemble application integration platform. The software will run in test sites with general availability slated for the third calendar quarter.

Paul Grabscheid, InterSystems' vice president of strategic planning, said the company aims Ensemble HIE at RHIOs, networks for exchanging health and patient information among healthcare providers within a particular geographic area. Some government officials believe statewide RHIOs may provide a pathway toward a National Health Information Network.

Ensemble HIE builds upon the core Ensemble product with six software services, according to InterSystems. Those services are: clinical data exchange, patient identification, consent management, terminology, and security, and data access.

InterSystems bolsters those services through a set of recently forged alliances. In the medical terminology space, the company has a technology partnership to link Health Language Inc.'s Language Engine software as a service in Ensemble HIE. Language Engine automates the incorporation of medical vocabulary and coding standards in healthcare IT applications, according to InterSystems.

In addition, InterSystems has inked alliances with Initiate Systems and QuadraMed. Both alliances involve the linking of enterprise master patient index software to Ensemble HIE.

Grabscheid said the market for health information exchange products is 'very uncertain' at this point, in light of funding questions. He cited 'widespread agreement' on the need to exchange healthcare information, but a lack of consensus on who should pay for it.

Nevertheless, Grabscheid said his company wants to be part of the learning process as the healthcare industry explores different approaches to information exchange.

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About the Author

John Moore is a freelance writer based in Syracuse, N.Y.

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