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Symphony Corp. and CareEvolution to partner

Madison, Wis. - The complex goal of integrating patient medical information securely and seamlessly across multiple sites of care is moving closer to reality in the Midwest.

A recent partnership between Symphony Corp., headquartered in Madison, and the Michigan-based CareEvolution seeks to implement a novel clinical information-sharing model in the region within a year.

Their so-called "federated" model utilizes a peer-to-peer record locator service and a double-blind data protection mechanism. It is designed to avoid the high costs and hacker security pitfalls of both the centralized and decentralized models of information depositories, said Ravi Kalla, president and CEO of Symphony Corp., a regional healthcare IT solution provider.

Symphony Corp. is directing the integration of CareEvolution's interoperability technology infrastructure into members of Regional Health Information Organizations (RHIOs). This is being done to facilitate the sharing of medical information maintained in their internal heterogeneous Electronic Health Record systems.

At the core, the organizations are trying to address a safety issue, Kalla said. "How do you access information from different providers when a patient gets sick or injured while traveling?" he asked. "At that point, you need to quickly pull information on patient medication and other clinical data to prevent wrong drug interactions."
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If effective, the federated model also could increase healthcare efficiency to prevent duplicate tests, he added. "Whether we're talking about patients, practitioners, or providers, the whole chain can win," he said.

Rights revolution

Achieving the "five rights" of seamless RHIO data exchange - the right information about the right patient at the right time at the right place to the right person - currently faces a host of obstacles. They range from issues pertaining to medical information ownership to the political feasibility of creating medical identification cards for national information sharing.

Kalla explained that he has witnessed a bottleneck effect as agencies compete to spearhead the implementation of sharing initiatives. His solution is to take a different tack and implement the technology free of cost.

CareEvolution also applauded the joint initiative, one year in the making, and will expand service offerings in clinical information systems, healthcare assessment tools, and predictive healthcare assessment in community Health Information Exchange (HIE) development.

"We are looking forward to working with Symphony Corp. and are extremely pleased to have Symphony Corp. broaden its relationship with us," said Vik Kheterpal, president and CEO of CareEvolution.

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