IBM Services for Healthcare Providers

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IBM Services for Healthcare Providers

by Sherry Kercher

Docid: 00011405

Publication Date: 2001

Report Type: PRODUCT


IBM offers a variety of options for healthcare providers looking to
connect disparate data across their practices. The company aims to offer
these providers solutions for operational effectiveness, collaborative
care, and better quality and outcomes. This report profiles IBM’s key
services for healthcare providers.

Report Contents:


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Today, medical images and other healthcare data often reside in far-flung
and disconnected sets of databases with the effect that some data is
collected twice (or three times) and most data is only available to a
limited range of healthcare practitioners. In addition to accessibility
issues, renewed concerns about medical privacy – particularly the need to
comply with provisions of the US Health Insurance Portability and
Accountability Act (HIPAA) – are driving healthcare providers and medical
records firms to develop new, more integrated, and more functional
healthcare information systems. IBM states it believes in a smarter
health system that connects [healthcare] data so those who treat our
illnesses, heal our injuries, and keep us healthy can do so even better.

Faulkner Reports
IBM Company
Healthcare Information
Management Tutorial
Electronic Medical Records Market

IBM offers healthcare services in the areas of health system performance
and optimization, population health insights and care management, and
individual insights and engagement. Key offerings provided by IBM include:

  • Enterprise Mobility for Healthcare Providers
  • Grid Medical Archive Solution
  • Blockchain
  • Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
    Compliance Solution
  • Internet Security Systems: Services for Healthcare
  • Watson Health
  • Watson Customer Engagement
  • Analytics
  • IBM Cloud

Figure 1 displays IBM’s vision and framework for healthcare management.

Figure 1. IBM Healthcare

Figure 1. IBM Healthcare

Source: IBM

Mobility and Desktop Virtualization Solutions for Healthcare

IBM’s Mobility and Desktop Virtualization Solutions for Healthcare
Organizations offers healthcare practitioners virtually anywhere, anytime
access to vital medical information by: (1) consolidating wireless
communication networks, devices, and paging/telephony systems; (2)
providing real-time location services for tracking key personnel and
equipment, and ensuring the physical safety of patients and clinicians;
(3) creating wireless medical-grade networks for key communication and
tracking applications; (4) enabling instant wireless communication access
to – and collaboration with – key team members; and (5) offering
event-driven, real-time notification and patient care alerts that are
intelligently routed to the appropriate users. The Mobility and Desktop
Virtualization Solutions for Healthcare Organizations provides a variety
of services to assess, plan, and implement virtual desktop setup on
premise via cloud computing.


Name: IBM Global Services
New Orchard Road
Armonk, NY 10504
(914) 499-1900
Fax: (914) 765-7382
Type of Vendor: Professional Services Provider
Founded: 1999
Service Areas: Global

Grid Medical Archive Solution

Designed to provide safe, long-term storage of medical images, research
information, and other reference data such as computerized tomography (CT)
scans, positron-emission tomography (PET) scans, and medical documents,
IBM’s Healthcare and Life Sciences Grid Medical Archive Solution permits
healthcare providers and research institutions to establish an open,
multi-application, multi-tier enterprise storage system across a single
campus, an integrated delivery network, an entire geographic region, or a
regional health organization.

HIPAA Compliance Solution

The US Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
mandates that all healthcare organizations effectively meet
administrative, technical and physical safeguards to protect the privacy
of patient information, and maintain data integrity for employees,
customers, and shareholders. IBM employs a five-step process that
covers the complete security management lifecycle, including phases for
Assessment, Design, Deployment, Management, and Education (ADDME). This
ADDME process helps identify and analyze gaps between the current security
state and HIPAA requirements, and then designs and helps implement
solutions to close those gaps and ensure ongoing conformity.

Internet Security Systems: Services for Healthcare

IBM’s Internet Security Systems permit healthcare providers to reliably
and confidently protect patient and other sensitive information:

  • Evaluating enterprise data management – including data stores, data
    sharing, and ensuring proper and appropriate access to data – to
    better facilitate compliance with HIPAA requirements.
  • Safeguarding the confidentiality of patient information at all
  • Increasing the physical security of data for hospitals that have a
    24/7 “open door” policy.
  • Benefiting from the productivity gains in patient care offered by
    wireless technologies, while reducing the risk of equipment

To help facilitate the transition to a “smarter health system,” IBM
offers several services aimed at healthcare providers:

  • Healthcare Asset Management
  • Member 360 for Healthcare
  • Mobility and Desktop Virtualization Solutions for Healthcare
  • Connected Home Health
  • Data Governance for Healthcare
  • Enterprise Health Analytics for Healthcare Providers
  • Fraud and Abuse Management for Payers
  • Fraud and Abuse Management for Providers
  • Business Analytics Software for Healthcare
  • Collaboration Agenda for Health Plans
  • Cognos Solutions
  • Enterprise Asset Management
  • Enterprise Content Management
  • Enterprise Mobility
  • Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliance
  • IBM Initiate Solutions for Healthcare
  • IBM Service Management
  • Information Agenda Catalog
  • Internet Security Systems
  • Rational Healthcare and Life Sciences Industry Solutions
  • WebSphere ILOG Business Rule Management Systems
  • WebSphere Portal Solutions
  • IBM Integration Framework
  • Business Process Outsourcing
  • Business Process Services
  • IBM Health Plan Data Model
  • IBM InfoSphere Software
  • Health Information Exchange
  • Business Process Management
  • Enterprise Service Bus for Healthcare
  • Enterprise, Patient, and Clinical Portals and Collaboration
  • IBM Content and Predictive Analytics
  • Health System Performance and Optimization
  • Population and Care Insights
  • Care and Health Management

Watson Health and Merge Healthcare

IBM is offering Watson Health, which includes a cognitive peer review
tool to help providers compare and resolve differences between a patient’s
clinical evidence and data in the electronic health record (EHR). It also
offers a cognitive data summation tool intended to provide
patient-specific clinical information to use when interpreting imaging
studies or when diagnosing patients. A cognitive physician support tool is
also provided to help personalize healthcare decisions based on
integrating imaging data with other types of patient data. The MedyMatch
“Brain Bleed” App is also offered. It is a cognitive image review tool
intended to diagnose a stroke or brain bleed by identifying relevant
evidence in a patient record.

MergeHealthcare, an IBM company, offers Marktation, a new process for
interpreting medical images to help physicians improve image reading speed
and accuracy. The Watson Clinical Integration Module is a cloud application
that helps increase reader efficiency and counteract errors in imaging.
Lesion Segmentation and Tracking Module helps increase the speed by which
providers interpret and report comparison exams in cancer patients and other
types of patients.


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Taken collectively, IBM services for healthcare providers help hospitals
and other providers implement a robust healthcare “ecosystem,” as
illustrated in Table 1.

Table 1. Healthcare Ecosystem’s Primary Stakeholders and

Empower Employees

Manage Payers

Incentivize Providers

Encourage Community-Based Collaboration

Promote Legislative Change

Sell Benefits Management: e-Benefits

Decrease Administrative Costs: e-Claims & Audit

Improve Pharmacy: e-Rx and Pharmacy Management

Promote Community Health: Clinical Outreach Programs

Promote New Legislation: Lobbying

Influence Healthy Lifestyle: Wellness Programs

Disease Management: Disease Management Programs

Improve Quality of Care: Pay for Performance

Promote Interoperability: RHIO & National Health
Information Network (NHN)


Promote Consumer Flexibility: Consumer Driven Health Plans
(CDHP) & Health Savings Accounts

Increase Buying Power: Purchasing Coalitions

Promote IT Adoption: Pay for Use and e-MR



Self Health Management: e-Disease Management



Source: IBM


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Healthcare providers, principally hospitals, face a variety of economic
and technical challenges, including:

  • Increases in uninsured care
  • Declining profit margins
  • Rising debt
  • Growing competition for outpatient services

While containing medical and administrative costs and boosting
productivity and efficiency, hospitals must also improve clinical quality,
patient safety, and clinical outcomes. And they must accomplish these
objectives while accommodating big changes caused by healthcare reform.
The old, paper-based, labor-intensive ways of doing business simply won’t
work in the new healthcare environment. To survive, healthcare
organizations must do more with less – and they must make smarter
use of information technology.


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IBM provides tailored service level agreements (SLAs) and support plans
for its service customers. The company has a worldwide support staff
available for telephone, e-mail, and in-person support. It also offers
self-help support resources such as user portals, user groups, and an
online knowledgebase. 


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IBM sells its products and services directly, as well indirectly through
channel partners. Service pricing varies according to configuration and
options. Contact IBM Sales for current, specific pricing information.


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IBM’s key competitors in the healthcare market include Accenture Health
& Public Service / Life Sciences, CSC Health Services, and HP
Enterprise Services (formerly EDS) Healthcare. Amazon has also become a
competitor with its Amazon Comprehend Medical, which is designed to
analyze EHR data. Google has become a competitor in the healthcare field
with its healthcare API. Apple has become a competitor as well with the
wellness monitoring features offered through the iPhone, as well as
through its partnerships with hospitals and health systems to utilize the
data that is generated.

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About the Author

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Sherry Kercher is an editor for Faulkner Information
Services. She holds a master’s degree in library and information science,
and tracks and writes about storage, communication networks and equipment,
and Internet technologies.

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