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December 5, 2006

Avanade to help MD Anderson move closer to personalized medicine

Avanade and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center have entered into a partnership to develop an improved electronic medical records system that will create unified electronic records for each patient at the center.

By CBR Staff Writer

This initiative will bring together clinical data with patient-specific information, representing a shift toward personalized medicine – and helping MD Anderson Cancer Center to achieve its charter of making cancer history.

Following a review of several commercially available electronic medical records (EMR) software packages, MD Anderson determined that it needed a custom-built EMR application to seamlessly integrate patient care and clinical data.

The foundation for the application already existed in MD Anderson’s clinical information retrieval system, ClinicStation. Avanade is re-architecting ClinicStation using a service-oriented architecture (SOA) as a first step in creating a reference architecture for the next-generation EMR system. This architecture will serve as the roadmap for how MD Anderson needs ClinicStation to function in the years ahead, allowing the system to grow with the needs of the organization, its patients and the healthcare industry without the need for re-engineering or expensive upgrades.

Creating a solution based on a SOA roadmap makes an organization more agile and better able to manage and adapt to technological change and scientific evolution, which is paramount in the healthcare industry, said Kevin Kelley, regional chief technology officer for Avanade. While many US healthcare organizations are implementing commercial EMR software packages to create unified records for their patients, integration of patient care and clinical research data – a process that is critical to MD Anderson – can be challenging.

At MD Anderson, patients are being treated by physicians who are actually creating the treatment protocols, said Dr Lynn Vogel, vice president and chief information officer for MD Anderson. By creating our own EMR system with Avanade and leveraging their expertise, we can begin to tailor treatments to the individual and bring the industry one step closer to personalized medicine.

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