We've updated our Privacy Policy to make it clearer how we use your personal data. We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. You can read our Cookie Policy here.


Avanade Brings Advances in Patient Care to M.D. Anderson with Improved Systems for Electronic Medical Records

Listen with
Register for free to listen to this article
Thank you. Listen to this article using the player above.

Want to listen to this article for FREE?

Complete the form below to unlock access to ALL audio articles.

Read time: 2 minutes

Avanade Inc. and The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center has announced that they are partnering to develop an improved Electronic Medical Records (EMR) system that will create unified electronic records for each Cancer Center patient.

This initiative will bring together clinical data with patient-specific information, representing a shift toward personalized medicine -- and helping M.D. Anderson Cancer Center to achieve its charter of "Making Cancer History".

"Cancer is a very personal disease that requires individualized care and treatment -- a treatment that works for one patient may be detrimental to another. Having the ability to tailor a treatment to the individual is known as personalized medicine and this is where the industry is moving, particularly in cancer care," explained Dr. Lynn Vogel, vice president and chief information officer for M.D. Anderson.

"As a leading cancer center and education institution serving more than 70,000 patients a year, we recognize the significant role technology plays in providing this kind of innovative patient care. Avanade brings proven solutions that will help us transform the future of medicine to a much more personalized model."

Following a review of several commercially available EMR software package, M.D. 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 M.D. Anderson's clinical information retrieval system called ClinicStation, its in-house legacy application created in 2001.

Avanade is re-architecting ClinicStation using a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) as a first step in creating reference architecture for the next- generation EMR system.

This architecture will serve as the roadmap for how M.D. 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 U.S. 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 M.D. Anderson-can be challenging. It is rewarding for us to know that our technology solution will not only benefit M.D. Anderson and its staff, but that through this effort Avanade has the ability to impact so many people's lives as the fields of IT and life sciences converge."

As part of the engagement, which began in February 2006, M.D. Anderson and Avanade created a "software factory" by fielding a joint team of developers to refresh and maintain the custom-built application.

ClinicStation will be fully operable in 2007 and will integrate research and clinical data more seamlessly, improve patient care and save the institution considerable costs associated with physician efficiency.

"At M.D. Anderson, patients are being treated by physicians who are actually creating the treatment protocols," said Dr. Vogel. "This creates an enormous information integration issue because the physicians have to double- document care for the medical record as well as in databases tracking the clinical research outcomes. 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."