NEWS: IBM to support Spanish healthcare provider in coordinating care

Catalonia, Spain-based Catalan Institute of Health (ICS) has chosen IBM Corporation to partner in their novel care coordination pilot initiative that facilitates coordinated care by allowing care givers (social workers, nurses, and physicians) to view a single patient’s record from a massive volume of Big Data.

A forerunner in teaching, research, and healthcare activities in Catalonia, ICS, caters to the healthcare needs of more than 83% of Catalan residents (5.5 million people), conducts 40% of health research in the area, and provides medical training. Consisting of 470 Primary Care Units and 8 hospitals, ICS employs more than 18,000 and 20,000 staff in hospital care and primary care, respectively. Primary Care Units include care teams and offers diagnostic imaging, urgency services, mental health, and sexual and reproduction health services.

ICS is working with Catalonian government to bring about coordinated chronic disease management as 60% of Catalan citizens above 65 years of age have chronic diseases and utilize 70% of healthcare resources in the region. Commenting on the importance of collaborative effort between professionals across various service stages, ICS deputy director of Health Affairs, Jaume Benavent, says that the organization completely understands its positive impact on the outcomes, in terms of quality and utilization of social and healthcare resources.

Serving over 150 patients having complex health conditions, the pilot project with ICS is operational at labs, primary care centers, hospitals, and treatment centers. The project intends to equip care providers with the ability to carry out systematic and holistic evaluation of patients in order to determine their requirements across various factors like social care, daily living, and nutritional needs.

In order to realize the above goal, the program requires a solution that facilitates a shared, comprehensive view of every patient, by gathering data from numerous sources and several commercial and custom applications. The solution also needs to be able to establish and manage personalized care plans on the basis of patient evaluation results for aiding referrals, reassessments, partnership between various social services and care givers, and delivery of care at home settings.

In view of this, ICS includes following IBM solutions:

  • IBM WebSphere: It is a software meant for service oriented architecture environment. It allows dynamic, interlinked business process and provides application infrastructures for all enterprise needs.
  • IBM Curam Social Program Management: As a business and technology platform, it encompasses inbuilt social program specific core components, configurable end-to-end business processes, interfaces, toolsets, and configuration functionalities.
  • IBM Outcome Management software: Offering automated tools and framework to form and manage outcome plans of citizens, the software allows social program organizations to evaluate needs, determine goals and paths to attain them, track the progress, and assess effectiveness. It can be deployed as a stand-alone solution or integrated into a larger system with provision for assessment and plan configuration.

According to IBM Spain Healthcare Industry Leader, Javier Olaizola, there are several providers ensuring best care for patients having chronic diseases; however, Catalonia differs from them by adopting a forward-looking approach to compile important information and enable coordinated care across clinical and social fraternity.

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