Cisco, Intel and Oracle Create Consortium to Accelerate Sharing and Exchange of Medical Information Using Health Information Technologies
High-tech Companies and California’s Largest Medical Groups and IPAs Collaborate on Pay-for-Performance Program
SAN JOSE, Calif., January 31, 2006 - Cisco Systems Inc., Intel Corporation, and Oracle today announced the formation of a consortium of leading technology companies, medical groups and independent practice associations (IPAs) that will reward doctors that use technology to share information and improve patient care. The consortium is unique in that it is employer-led and bands together thousands of employees and healthcare providers working toward a goal of improving healthcare quality.
The Silicon Valley Pay-for-Performance Consortium brings together Cisco, Intel and Oracle as well as some of the largest medical groups and IPAs in Northern California, including Camino Medical Group, Kaiser Permanente, Palo Alto Medical Foundation, San Jose Medical Group, Santa Clara County IPA, Santa Cruz Medical Foundation and Stanford Hospital and Clinics.
Its purpose is to accelerate the adoption of health information technology for the safe and highly secure exchange of vital patient records. Access to accurate and up-to-date patient information is critical to the practice of medicine today. Misdiagnoses, contraindicated prescriptions, repeated tests, and a host of other problems often result when physicians do not have access to current information.
“Ultimately, it is about employers and physicians working together to improve the quality and safety of care,” said Dr. Jeffrey Rideout, MD, Cisco’s Vice President of Healthcare, Internet Business Solutions Group and Corporate Medical Director. “Creating a system that provides patient information and data as well as the results of medications and treatments will help physicians make the best medical decisions.”
A critical first initiative for the consortium is implementing a “Pay-for-Performance” program using the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) Physician Practice Connections (PPC) program. Already in use in Bridges to Excellence programs in several states, the PPC national standards recognize physician practices that employ systematic processes and health information technology to improve quality.
By establishing rewards for the use of processes and technology, the collaborative hopes to accelerate the transition to electronic health records and the use of automated decision support tools. Such tools can help doctors determine which course of therapy might be best for a particular patient given the latest science and medical and family histories.
“A physician backed by a good electronic registry is much more effective and much less likely to make a mistake than one who isn’t,” said NCQA President Margaret E. O’Kane. “And there is a real efficiency issue too -- a doctor with good information support isn’t going to be spending a lot of time tracking down medical histories to see if drug X or drug Y is right for Mr. Smith - she’ll know right from the start.”
The consortium came together after participants realized they shared a common goal: Improving information sharing to improve medical care. Consortium participants worked closely to determine the metrics that would be used to reward physicians that participate in the Pay-for-Performance program. Initially, Cisco, Intel and Oracle will pay financial incentives to participants based on measurements in three key categories: Evidence-based care, care management and patient education.
The acceleration of Pay-for-Performance programs is labeled a national priority by the Department of Health and Human Services, which is driving numerous initiatives to improve healthcare quality through the adoption of information technologies. The number of programs has tripled in the United States since 2003, now numbering more than 100. Cisco, Intel and Oracle targeted the consortium medical groups and IPAs because they treat many of the companies’ employees based in Northern California. The companies involved intend to expand the consortium where they have large concentrations of employees. The consortium is technology-neutral and standards based and not aimed toward adoption of technology from any provider.
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